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A flexible approach to ranking with an application to MBA Programs

Köksalan, Mustafa Murat
Buyukbasaran, Tayyar
Ozpeynirci, Oezguer
Wallenius, Jyrki
We develop a model for flexibly ranking multi-dimensional alternatives/units into preference classes via Mixed Integer Programming. We consider a linear aggregation model, but allow the criterion weights to vary within pre-specified ranges. This allows the individual alternatives/units to play to their strengths. We illustrate the use of the model by considering the Financial Times Global MBA Program rankings and discuss the implications. We argue that in many applications neither the data nor the weights or the aggregation model itself is precise enough to warrant a complete ranking, providing an argument for sorting or what we call flexible ranking.