Difference between revisions of "Utility"

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'''Utility''' is a generic term used to specify how much a certain action gives results according to an agent’s preferences. Its unit – '''util''' or '''utilon''' – is an abstract arbitrary measure that assumes a concrete value only when the agent’s preferences have been determined through an [[utility function]].
 
'''Utility''' is a generic term used to specify how much a certain action gives results according to an agent’s preferences. Its unit – '''util''' or '''utilon''' – is an abstract arbitrary measure that assumes a concrete value only when the agent’s preferences have been determined through an [[utility function]].
  
It’s a concept rooting from economics and [[game theory]], where it measures how much a certain commodity increases welfare. One common denominator for utility and the clearest example, especially in this field, is money: the price a person is willing to pay for the satisfaction of his preference. Although it has been argued that utility is hard to quantify when dealing with human agents, it is widely when designing an AI capable of planning.
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It’s a concept rooting from economics and [[game theory]], where it measures how much a certain commodity increases welfare. One of the clearest examples, especially in this field, is money: it directly represents the price a person is willing to pay for the satisfaction of his preference (that is, to acquire something one desires). Although it has been argued that utility is hard to quantify when dealing with human agents, it is widely used when designing an AI capable of planning.
  
[[Utilitarianism]] is an ethical theory proposing that the appropriate and morally correct course of action in any given situation is the one leading to the maximum utility.
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[[Utilitarianism]] is a moral philosophy advocating actions which bring the best for the greatest amount of agents (human, in the case) involved.
  
 
==Further Reading & References==
 
==Further Reading & References==

Revision as of 10:56, 20 September 2012

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Utility is a generic term used to specify how much a certain action gives results according to an agent’s preferences. Its unit – util or utilon – is an abstract arbitrary measure that assumes a concrete value only when the agent’s preferences have been determined through an utility function.

It’s a concept rooting from economics and game theory, where it measures how much a certain commodity increases welfare. One of the clearest examples, especially in this field, is money: it directly represents the price a person is willing to pay for the satisfaction of his preference (that is, to acquire something one desires). Although it has been argued that utility is hard to quantify when dealing with human agents, it is widely used when designing an AI capable of planning.

Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy advocating actions which bring the best for the greatest amount of agents (human, in the case) involved.

Further Reading & References

  • Mistakes in Choice-Based Welfare Analysis by Botond Köszegi and Matthew Rabin
  • Russell, Stuart J.; Norvig, Peter (2003), Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (2nd ed.), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-790395-2

Blog posts

See also