Bayesian nonparametric Plackett-Luce models for the analysis of preferences for college degree programmes. (English) Zbl 1454.62153

Summary: In this paper we propose a Bayesian nonparametric model for clustering partial ranking data. We start by developing a Bayesian nonparametric extension of the popular Plackett-Luce choice model that can handle an infinite number of choice items. Our framework is based on the theory of random atomic measures, with the prior specified by a completely random measure. We characterise the posterior distribution given data, and derive a simple and effective Gibbs sampler for posterior simulation. We then develop a Dirichlet process mixture extension of our model and apply it to investigate the clustering of preferences for college degree programmes amongst Irish secondary school graduates. The existence of clusters of applicants who have similar preferences for degree programmes is established and we determine that subject matter and geographical location of the third level institution characterise these clusters.


62G99 Nonparametric inference
60G57 Random measures
62F15 Bayesian inference
62P20 Applications of statistics to economics
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