Comparison of the Polar Decision Rules for Various Types of Distributions

Theory and Decision 56 (3):325-343 (2004)
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Abstract

We focus on the dichotomous choice model, which goes back as far as Condorcet (1785; Essai sur l'application de l'analyse a la probabilité des décisions rendues a la pluralité des voix, Paris). A group of experts is required to select one of two alternatives, of which exactly one is regarded as correct. The alternatives may be related to a wide variety of areas. A decision rule translates the individual opinions of the members into a group decision. A decision rule is optimal if it maximizes the probability of the group to make a correct choice. In this paper we assume the correctness probabilities of the experts to be independent random variables, selected from some given distribution. Moreover, the ranking of the members in the team is (at least partly) known. Thus, one can follow rules based on this ranking. The polar different rules are the expert and the majority rules. The probabilities of the two polar rules being optimal were compared in a series of papers. The main purpose of this paper is to outline the results, providing exact formulas or estimates for these probabilities. We consider a variety of distributions and show that for all of these distributions the asymptotic behaviour of the probabilities of the two polar rules follows the same patterns

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