Elicitation of Factored Utilities

  • Darius Braziunas University of Toronto
  • Craig Boutilier University of Toronto


The effective tailoring of decisions to the needs and desires of specific users requires automated mechanisms for preference assessment. We provide a brief overview of recent direct preference elicitation methods: these methods ask users to answer (ideally, a small number of) queries regarding their preferences and use this information to recommend a feasible decision that would be (approximately) optimal given those preferences. We argue for the importance of assessing numerical utilities rather than qualitative preferences, and survey several utility elicitation techniques from artificial intelligence, operations research, and conjoint analysis.

Author Biographies

Darius Braziunas, University of Toronto

Department of Computer Science

Ph.D. Student

Craig Boutilier, University of Toronto

Department of Computer Science


How to Cite
Braziunas, D., & Boutilier, C. (2008). Elicitation of Factored Utilities. AI Magazine, 29(4), 79. https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v29i4.2203