The Stable Marriage Problem
A ColdFusion example of the Gale/Shapley algorithm
Given an equal number of men and women to be paired for marriage, each man ranks all the women in order of his preference and each women ranks all the men in order of her preference.
A stable set of engagements for marriage is one where no man prefers a women over the one he is engaged to, where that other woman also prefers that man over the one she is engaged to. I.e. with consulting marriages, there would be no reason for the engagements between the people to change.
Gale and Shapley proved that there is a stable set of engagements for any set of preferences and the first link above gives their algorithm for finding a set of stable engagements.
Given ten males:
abe, bob, col, dan, ed, fred, gav, hal, ian, jon
And ten females:
abi, bea, cath, dee, eve, fay, gay, hope, ivy, jan
And a complete list of ranked preferences, where the most liked is to the left:
abe: abi, eve, cath, ivy, jan, dee, fay, bea, hope, gay
bob: cath, hope, abi, dee, eve, fay, bea, jan, ivy, gay
col: hope, eve, abi, dee, bea, fay, ivy, gay, cath, jan
dan: ivy, fay, dee, gay, hope, eve, jan, bea, cath, abi
ed: jan, dee, bea, cath, fay, eve, abi, ivy, hope, gay
fred: bea, abi, dee, gay, eve, ivy, cath, jan, hope, fay
gav: gay, eve, ivy, bea, cath, abi, dee, hope, jan, fay
hal: abi, eve, hope, fay, ivy, cath, jan, bea, gay, dee
ian: hope, cath, dee, gay, bea, abi, fay, ivy, jan, eve
jon: abi, fay, jan, gay, eve, bea, dee, cath, ivy, hope
abi: bob, fred, jon, gav, ian, abe, dan, ed, col, hal
bea: bob, abe, col, fred, gav, dan, ian, ed, jon, hal
cath: fred, bob, ed, gav, hal, col, ian, abe, dan, jon
dee: fred, jon, col, abe, ian, hal, gav, dan, bob, ed
eve: jon, hal, fred, dan, abe, gav, col, ed, ian, bob
fay: bob, abe, ed, ian, jon, dan, fred, gav, col, hal
gay: jon, gav, hal, fred, bob, abe, col, ed, dan, ian
hope: gav, jon, bob, abe, ian, dan, hal, ed, col, fred
ivy: ian, col, hal, gav, fred, bob, abe, ed, jon, dan
jan: ed, hal, gav, abe, bob, jon, col, ian, fred, dan
- Use the Gale/Shapley algorithm to find a stable set of engagements
- Perturb this set of engagements to form an unstable set of engagements, and then check this new set for stability.