The distortion of distributed voting

Aris Filos-Ratsikas, Evi Micha, Alexandros A. Voudouris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Voting can abstractly model any decision-making scenario and as such it has been extensively studied over the decades. Recently, the related literature has focused on quantifying the impact of utilizing only limited information in the voting process on the societal welfare for the outcome, by bounding the distortion of voting rules. Even though there has been significant progress towards this goal, almost all previous works have so far neglected the fact that in many scenarios (like presidential elections) voting is actually a distributed procedure. In this paper, we consider a setting in which the voters are partitioned into disjoint districts and vote locally therein to elect local winning alternatives using a voting rule; the final outcome is then chosen from the set of these alternatives. We prove tight bounds on the distortion of well-known voting rules for such distributed elections both from a worst-case perspective as well as from a best-case one. Our results indicate that the partition of voters into districts leads to considerably higher distortion, a phenomenon which we also experimentally showcase using real-world data.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103343
Number of pages20
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Volume286
Early online date9 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Distributed voting
  • District-based elections
  • Distortion

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