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Asymmetric Empirical Similarity

18 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2013 Last revised: 7 Dec 2013

Joshua C. Teitelbaum

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: July 19, 2013


The paper suggests a similarity function for applications of empirical similarity theory in which the notion of similarity is asymmetric. I propose defining similarity in terms of a quasimetric. I suggest a particular quasimetric and explore the properties of the empirical similarity model given this function. The proposed function belongs to the class of quasimetrics induced by skewed norms. Finally, I provide a skewness axiom that, when imposed in lieu of the symmetry axiom in the main result of Billot et al. (2008), characterizes an exponential similarity function based on a skewed norm.

Keywords: asymmetric distance, empirical similarity, quasimetric, skewed norm

JEL Classification: C44, D01, D80

Suggested Citation

Teitelbaum, Joshua C., Asymmetric Empirical Similarity (July 19, 2013). Mathematical Social Sciences, Vol. 66, No. 3, pp. 346-351, 2013; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 13-003. Available at SSRN: or

Joshua Teitelbaum (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

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202-661-6589 (Phone)

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