Multiplicative Utility Functions
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGE
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The paper presents necessary and sufficient conditions for a multiattributed utility function to be either multiplicative or additive. It is shown that the additive form is a limiting case of the multiplicative form. The number of requisite assumptions to imply the main results is equal to the number of attributes. Because the assumptions involve only trade-offs between two attributes at a time or lotteries over one attribute, it is reasonable to expect that decision makers can ascertain if the assumptions are appropriate for their specific problem. Procedures are given for verifying the assumptions and assessing the resulting utility functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of a recent application of the results to a six-attribute problem relating to the development of Mexico Citys airport facilities.