The chapter critically reviews the recent attempts to formalize the concept of diversity and its measurement. After discussing measures based on ordinal and on cardinal binary dissimilarity information, we review the multi‐attribute model as a benchmark model and show how several proposals in the literature can be obtained as special cases. We contrast the “absolute” conception of diversity embodied in the multi‐attribute model with the “relative“ conception of diversity used in much of the biological literature, and indicate how these two conceptions could be reconciled in a comprehensive model using sampling. The full development of such a model seems a worthwhile subject for future research.
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