Our technology

No Major Drama applies a well-known methodology from mathematical psychology known as conjoint analysis to elicit each user's criteria and weights in order to create a personalised ranking of majors.

This methodology is based, fundamentally, on Benjamin Franklin's 'moral or prudential algebra' that he outlined in a letter to Joseph Priestley in 1772 – whereby trade-offs are used to simplify complex decisions involving multiple criteria.

Closer to the present day, the algorithm at the heart of No Major Drama – known by the acronym PAPRIKA, which stands for 'Potentially All Pairwise RanKings of all possible Alternatives' – grew out of research started in the 1990s at the University of Otago into methods for prioritising patients for access to elective surgery.

This research developed into a new and award-winning (see below) approach to the universal problem (in a very wide range of applications) of how to combine alternatives' characteristics on multiple criteria – based on decision-makers' preferences – in order to rank the alternatives.

For an introduction to the PAPRIKA algorithm, read the Wikipedia article. In addition, PAPRIKA's technical details are fully explained in this journal article: "A new method for scoring multi-attribute value models using pairwise rankings of alternatives", Journal of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis 15, 87-107.

Invented by Paul Hansen and Franz Ombler (co-creators of No Major Drama), PAPRIKA has patents in the US (Pat. No. 7552104), New Zealand (526447, 527785) and Australia (200423), and a Canadian patent is pending.

Powered by 1000Minds

The PAPRIKA algorithm is implemented via 1000Minds software, which is used to power No Major Drama. 1000Minds has won or made the finals of seven innovation awards:

  • Winner, Consensus Software Award 2007
  • Winner, Telecommunications Users' Association of New Zealand Healthcare Innovation Award 2005
  • Finalist, Telecommunications Users' Association of New Zealand Education Innovation Award 2009
  • Finalist, 2008 Bayer Innovators Award, IT & communications
  • Finalist, 2006 New Zealand Health Innovation Awards
  • Finalist, 2006 Westpac Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Innovation Awards
  • Finalist, Global Entrepolis @ Singapore Award 2005 (in association with The Asian Wall Street Journal's Innovation Award)
No Major Drama

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