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In probability theory, Luce's choice axiom, formulated by R. Duncan Luce (1959), states that the probability of selecting one item over another from a pool of many items is not affected by the presence or absence of other items in the pool. Selection of this kind is said to have "independence from irrelevant alternatives" (IIA).
Mathematically, the axiom states that the probability of selecting item i from a pool of j items is given by:
where w indicates the weight (a measure of some typically salient property) of a particular item.
The axiom is often encountered in economics, where it can be used to model a consumer's tendency to choose one brand of product over another. It is also found in psychology, particularly in cognitive science, where it can be used to model some stochastic properties of neural networks.
- Luce, R. D. (1959). Individual Choice Behavior: A Theoretical Analysis, New York: Wiley. ISBN 0-486-44136-9.
- Luce, R. D. (1977). The choice axiom after twenty years. Journal of Mathematical Psychology 15: 215–233.
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