Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a set which I want to rank based on which entry people favor the most.

The set consists of too many entries for the voters to sort the entire list, and since the set contains some mainstream favorites I don't want voters to pick the top three entries or something similar either.

I have seen pages rank by pairs, be it images or quotes. But is this a good idea way of doing it? Is this representable for the majority or is there any better alternatives?

Ranking by pairs is basically the same as sorting based on the win/lose rate, right?


share|improve this question
My voting theory professor was fond of illustrating that, holding the preferences a population of voters constant, one could make successive pairwise votes favor any option by the introduction of specific polarizing options and careful ordering of votes. Thus, I'm inclined to say that the efficacy of ranking by pairs depends somewhat strongly on your set and choice of voting procedure. If you're ranking a large set and pairwise elections are random and repeated, I think it's not an terrible system. Could you expand upon the nature of the problem a bit? –  Drew Christianson Dec 7 '11 at 18:51
My thought now is to rank some audio clips based on which is most humorous/interesting. Also there's a pretty good chance of new clips being added, so I get the "problem" with new entries. –  Eikern Dec 7 '11 at 19:30
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.