Prototypes construction from partial rankings to characterize the attractiveness of companies in Belgium

Gonzalo Nápoles*, Zoumpolia Dikopoulou, Elpiniki Papageorgiou, Rafael Bello, Koen Vanhoof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


What are the most relevant factors to be considered by employees when searching for an employer? The answer to this question poses valuable knowledge from the Business Intelligence viewpoint since it allows companies to retain personnel and attract competent employees. It leads to an increase in sales of their products or services, therefore remaining competitive across similar companies in the market. In this paper we assess the attractiveness of companies in Belgium by using a new two-stage methodology based on Artificial Intelligence techniques. The proposed method allows constructing high-quality prototypes from partial rankings indicating experts’ preferences. Being more explicit, in the first step we propose a fuzzy clustering algorithm for partial rankings called fuzzy c-aggregation. This algorithm is based on the well-known fuzzy c-means procedure and uses the Hausdorff distance as dissimilarity functional and a counting strategy for updating the center of each cluster. However, we cannot ensure the optimality of such prototypes, and therefore more accurate prototypes must be derived. That is why the second step is focused on solving the extended Kemeny ranking problem for each discovered cluster taking into account the estimated membership matrix. To accomplish that, we adopt an optimization method based on Swarm Intelligence that exploits a colony of artificial ants. Several simulations show the effectiveness of the proposal for the real-world problem under investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-289
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Soft Computing
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Partial rankings
  • Fuzzy clustering
  • Fuzzy aggregation
  • Prototypes construction


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