Preference learning along multiple criteria: A game-theoretic perspective

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Authors

Kush Bhatia, Ashwin Pananjady, Peter Bartlett, Anca Dragan, Martin J. Wainwright

Abstract

<p>The literature on ranking from ordinal data is vast, and there are several ways to aggregate overall preferences from pairwise comparisons between objects. In particular, it is well-known that any Nash equilibrium of the zero-sum game induced by the preference matrix defines a natural solution concept (winning distribution over objects) known as a von Neumann winner. Many real-world problems, however, are inevitably multi-criteria, with different pairwise preferences governing the different criteria. In this work, we generalize the notion of a von Neumann winner to the multi-criteria setting by taking inspiration from Blackwell’s approachability. Our framework allows for non-linear aggregation of preferences across criteria, and generalizes the linearization-based approach from multi-objective optimization.</p> <p>From a theoretical standpoint, we show that the Blackwell winner of a multi-criteria problem instance can be computed as the solution to a convex optimization problem. Furthermore, given random samples of pairwise comparisons, we show that a simple, "plug-in" estimator achieves (near-)optimal minimax sample complexity. Finally, we showcase the practical utility of our framework in a user study on autonomous driving, where we find that the Blackwell winner outperforms the von Neumann winner for the overall preferences.</p>