Voting theory studies methods for electing a best option from a set of alternatives, given the preferences of the members of a group. While traditionally concerned with political elections, voting theory is equally relevant to collective decision making in multiagent systems. This is one reason why voting has recently become such a popular research topic in AI. The other reason is that many of the tools and techniques of AI have proven useful for the analysis of voting rules (for example, complexity theory, knowledge representation, and automated reasoning). This tutorial will provide an introduction to the theory of voting. We will present the most important voting rules and cover some of the classical theorems in the field. We will also see examples for recent work in computational social choice, which brings together ideas from social choice theory (including voting theory) and computer science (including AI). No specific background knowledge will be assumed; the tutorial will be accessible to everyone attending EASSS.
I have previosuly taught tutorials on this topic at AAAI-2010 and at SecVote-2012. For much more material, see my course on computational social choice, given annually at the ILLC.
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