A note on the estimation of the Pareto efficient set for multiobjective matrix permutation problems

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There are a number of important problems in quantitative psychology that require the identification of a permutation of the n rows and columns of an n × n proximity matrix. These problems encompass applications such as unidimensional scaling, paired-comparison ranking, and anti-Robinson forms. The importance of simultaneously incorporating multiple objective criteria in matrix permutation applications is well recognized in the literature; however, to date, there has been a reliance on weighted-sum approaches that transform the multiobjective problem into a single-objective optimization problem. Although exact solutions to these single-objective problems produce supported Pareto efficient solutions to the multiobjective problem, many interesting unsupported Pareto efficient solutions may be missed. We illustrate the limitation of the weighted-sum approach with an example from the psychological literature and devise an effective heuristic algorithm for estimating both the supported and unsupported solutions of the Pareto efficient set.

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