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Intertemporal choice of fuzzy soft sets. (English) Zbl 1425.91099
Summary: This paper first merges two noteworthy aspects of choice. On the one hand, soft sets and fuzzy soft sets are popular models that have been largely applied to decision making problems, such as real estate valuation, medical diagnosis (glaucoma, prostate cancer, etc.), data mining, or international trade. They provide crisp or fuzzy parameterized descriptions of the universe of alternatives. On the other hand, in many decisions, costs and benefits occur at different points in time. This brings about intertemporal choices, which may involve an indefinitely large number of periods. However, the literature does not provide a model, let alone a solution, to the intertemporal problem when the alternatives are described by (fuzzy) parameterizations. In this paper, we propose a novel soft set inspired model that applies to the intertemporal framework, hence it fills an important gap in the development of fuzzy soft set theory. An algorithm allows the selection of the optimal option in intertemporal choice problems with an infinite time horizon. We illustrate its application with a numerical example involving alternative portfolios of projects that a public administration may undertake. This allows us to establish a pioneering intertemporal model of choice in the framework of extended fuzzy set theories.

MSC:
91B06 Decision theory
03E72 Theory of fuzzy sets, etc.
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