Evaluation of election outcomes under uncertainty

Noam Hazon, Yonatan Aumann, Sarit Kraus, Michael Wooldridge

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24 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigate the extent to which it is possible to evaluate the probability of a particular candidate winning an election, given imperfect information about the preferences of the electorate. We assume that for each voter, we have a probability distribution over a set of preference orderings. Thus, for each voter, we have a number of possible preference orderings-we do not know which of these orderings actually represents the voters' preferences, but we know for each one the probability that it does. We give a polynomial algorithm to solve the problem of computing the probability that a given candidate will win when the number of candidates is a constant. However, when the number of candidates is not bounded, we prove that the problem becomes #P-Hard for the Plurality, Borda, and Copeland voting protocols. We further show that even evaluating if a candidate has any chance to win is NP-Complete for the Plurality voting protocol, in the weighted voters case. We give a polynomial algorithm for this problem when the voters' weights are equal. Copyright © 2008, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (www.ifaamas.org). All rights reserved.

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