Collectively deciding between alternatives

The November issue of msdn magazine has a nice piece by Dr. James McCaffrey on determining a best option from a list of choices. It’s an interesting departure from his usual topic, testing, and it proposes a discussion and implementation of the Schultze method. As far as I remember, Arrow’s impossibility theorem demonstrates that

no voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide ranking while also meeting a certain set of reasonable criteria with three or more discrete options to choose from.

Therefore, I have to assume that there are limitations to this method. If I have time, I’ll try to figure out in what cases these show up. However, the exposition of the problem is worth reading.


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