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Method and System for merging preferences Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235501D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-05
Document File: 7 page(s) / 140K

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The Prior Art Database


In this article, a method is described that allows to merge the preferences of different individuals and to combine those preferences into common settings. The preferences can be entered explicitly by the individuals or gathered automatically by communication with the electronic devices used by the individuals.

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Method and System for merging preferences

The current invention proposes a method to electronically collect preferences from several individuals , and to compute a reasonable compromise of resulting settings that reflects the several individual 's preferences. Note that this includes scenarios where the several individual 's preferences do conflict with each other.

For teaching purposes about what type of problem is solved, in the following a concrete example scenario is used that for the moment restricts itself to a specific scenario . Note that neverless, the principle as a more general one.


As the scenario for teaching the subject, a location is considered where:

several persons are present;

the several persons are exposed to a general setting that affects all of them;

the individually preferred setting for some of the persons can possibly be in conflict with the
individually preferred setting of other persons.

In the following, we will consider a even more concrete version of this general scenario .

Let the location be a restaurant,

where several guests want to have dinner at the same time;

let the general setting be: the type of music played in the background;

and assume that different guests have different and possibly conflicting preferences what the
background music should preferably be.

Current solutions to this problem are:
Pick the type of music independent of the audience's preferences.








Disadvantage: the type of music may or may not match the actual preferences of the audience. Play a constant, reoccurring set of music that has evolved over time to raise no or few complaints .

Disadvantage: this may become boring for the audience over time; lack of flexibility.

Follow the usual best practices, for example, in Italian restaurants play Italian style music , in Mexican

restaurants play Mexican style music, etc.

Disadvantage: this may unnecessarily annoy people who like a country 's food but not that country's music.

Occasionally, ask some persons in the audience whether they like the music or not.

Disadvantage: this may give a hint, but will not work in general and in a reliable way .

Try to guess/predict the taste of the guests; for example, if the majority of the audience is from a

particular country, then try to adjust to that country by picking music from that country. Disadvantage: this approach will work as good or as bad, depending how good or how bad the guess/prediction is.

Make the type of music known in advance "Today played: Oldies but Goldies", so potential guests can

plan to visit (or not to visit) the particular restaurant. Disadvantage: requires planning for the audience; lack of flexibility. e-voting systems, online voting systems.

Disadvantage: this approach focuses on the current setting (e.g. the music actually played) and thus does not avoid in the first place a setting that is mis-liked by many of the individual persons.

In this article, it is proposed to adjust the sett...