A lexicographic rule orders multi-attribute alternatives in the same way as a dictionary orders words. Although no utility function can represent lexicographic preference over continuous, real-valued attributes, a constrained linear model suffices for representing such preferences over discrete attributes. We present an algorithm for inferring lexicographic structures from choice data. The primary difficulty in using such data is that it is seldom possible to obtain sufficient information to estimate individual-level preference functions. Instead, one needs to pool the data across latent clusters of individuals. We propose a method that identifies latent clusters of subjects, and estimates a lexicographic rule for each cluster. We describe an application of the method using data collected by a manufacturer of television sets. We compare the predictions of the model with those obtained from a finite-mixture, multinomial-logit model.
Journal of Mathematical Psychologyvol.
52, (January 01, 2008):