Decision rules based on maximising expected utility can be justified by strong Bayesian arguements. Such rules correctly accommodate both objective and subjective criteria. Portfolio theory, as applied to dairy sire selection problems, 1s consistent with maximising expected utility. However* the utility function 1s restricted and distributional assumptions must hold. A more direct approach 1s the explicit use of utility theory and related Bayesian methods. New applications for utility theory In animal selection are described. Two situations for long-term Improvement (after several selection decisions) of additive merit are considered: gene pool selection and mate selection. Utility functions are given which accommodate subjective concerns about risk and genetic variability.

S. P Smith, K. Hammond

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume IX. Breeding programs for dairy and beef cattle, water buffalo, sheep, and goats., , 101–105, 1986
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