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Durham e-Theses
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Sequential decision making with adaptive utility

Houlding, Brett (2008) Sequential decision making with adaptive utility. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Decision making with adaptive utility provides a generalisation to classical Bayesian decision theory, allowing the creation of a normative theory for decision selection when preferences are initially uncertain. The theory of adaptive utility was introduced by Cyert & DeGroot [27], but had since received little attention or development. In particular, foundational issues had not been explored and no consideration had been given to the generalisation of traditional utility concepts such as value of information or risk aversion. This thesis addresses such issues. An in-depth review of the decision theory literature is given, detailing differences in assumptions between various proposed normative theories and their possible generalisations. Motivation is provided for generalising expected utility theory to permit uncertain preferences, and it is argued that in such a situation, under the acceptance of traditional utility axioms, the decision maker should seek to select decisions so asto maximise expected adaptive utility . The possible applications of the theory forsequential decision making are illustrated by some small-scale examples, including examples of relevance within reliability theory.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Sep 2011 18:28

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