[EM] "MinMax" can mean almost anything

James Green-Armytage jarmyta at antioch-college.edu
Thu Jan 1 14:50:01 PST 2004

Mike, you wrote:

>I thought you were referring to PC, because some people on this list call
>You see, this is why I've tried to discourage "MinMax" as a name for PC: 
>"MinMax" is used with too many different meanings for it to be of any use
>the name of a count method.

	I was under the impression that it is not entirely clear what completion
method Condorcet was actually proposing. I have heard some people argue
that it was minimax, and some people argue that it was Kemeny. In light of
this ambiguity, I think that the term "plain Condorcet" for minimax might
be slightly misleading, or controversial at best. If I'm wrong, and it is
totally clear that this was the basic method that Condorcet proposed, then
I suppose that "plain Condorcet" is a reasonable name.
	As for the term 'minimax,' I'm not saying that it is the best term in the
world, but I don't think it's too bad. Basically, the winner is the
candidate whose worst loss is least bad. Hence minimax. I think that the
word comes out of game theory, where it is applied in a quite different
context, but with a slightly similar meaning. 
	I have also heard the terms "successive reversal," "sequential dropping,"
and "Simpson" used to describe this simplest of Condorcet methods. I
usually use "minimax." I don't know why. Maybe because it's short.
	Anyway, it might not be an issue of world shattering importance, but that
is my two cents on it.


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