Fuzzy spatial models

Terry D. Clark, Jennifer M. Larson, John N. Mordeson, Joshua D. Potter, Mark J. Wierman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Most political issues are more than one-dimensional in scope. For example, budget bills contain funding across a number of issue areas, and political parties engaged in cabinet formation must concern themselves with several issue dimensions in determining a government program capable of uniting a legislative majority. Hence, spatial models must incorporate n > 1 dimensions to be useful. Unfortunately, increasing the space to include multiple dimensions opens the possibility of cycling. The conditions under which cycling can occur have been the object of study for decades, and the conclusion is that the possibility of cycling is pervasive. Plott (1967), for instance, found that a maximal set exists in two-dimensional space only when ideal points are arrayed symmetrically to one another (the radial symmetry condition); and McKelvey (1976) found that in the absence of a maximal set, cycling is possible over the entire two-dimensional space. In order to reduce the likelihood of cycling, scholars have adopted increasingly restrictive assumptions in their models. While this has permitted the models to predict outcomes, increasingly restrictive assumptions remove the models further from reality, and empirical tests have often falsified the predictions. As a consequence, formal models have come under increasing criticism for the gap between their predictions and their empirical implications. The empirical implications in theoretical models (EITM) movement is one reflection of these criticisms (see Achen et al., 2002; De Marchi, 2005).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationApplying Fuzzy Mathematics to Formal Models in Comparative Politics
    EditorsTerry D. Clark, Joshua D. Potter, Jennifer M. Larson, John N. Mordeson, Mark J. Wierman
    Number of pages27
    StatePublished - 2008

    Publication series

    NameStudies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing
    ISSN (Print)1434-9922

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
    • Computational Mathematics


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