Utility or value functions play an important role of preference models in multiple-criteria decision making. We investigate the relationships between these models and the decision-rule preference model obtained from the Dominance-based Rough Set Approach. The relationships are established by means of special "cancellation properties" used in conjoint measurement as axioms for representation of aggregation procedures. We are considering a general utility function and three of its important special cases: associative operator, Sugeno integral and ordered weighted maximum. For each of these aggregation functions we give a representation theorem establishing equivalence between a very weak cancellation property, the specific utility function and a set of rough-set decision rules. Each result is illustrated by a simple example of multiple-criteria decision making. The results show that the decision rule model we propose has clear advantages over a general utility function and its particular cases.