MoL-2019-22: Incorporating Preference Information into Formal Models of Transitive Proxy Voting

MoL-2019-22: Harding, Jacqueline (2019) Incorporating Preference Information into Formal Models of Transitive Proxy Voting. [Report]

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This thesis is concerned with giving a computational social choice-theoretic model of transitive proxy voting.
Transitive proxy voting (or ‘liquid democracy’) is a novel form of collective decision making. It is often introduced as an attractive hybrid of direct and representative democracy. Recently, it has been used by the German branch of the Pirate Party to aid intra-party decisions (Litvinenko (2012)).
Although the ideas behind liquid democracy have garnered widespread support, there has been little rigorous examination of the arguments offered on its behalf. In particular, there have been relatively few attempts to model liquid democracy formally. A formal model has the potential to serve as a testing ground for the conceptual and empirical claims put forward by supporters (and, of course, detractors) of liquid democracy.
Computational social choice is an emerging field at the intersection of economics and computer science (Brandt et al. (2016)). There are a variety of methodologies and techniques employed within the field, but a common theme in the heterogeneous approaches is a formal perspective on collective decision making. As such, tools from computational social choice seem natural candidates for modelling liquid democracy.
In this thesis, I’ll propose a novel model of transitive proxy voting. My model is individuated by the fact it takes a richer formal perspective on proxy selection (the process by which a voter chooses a proxy). I argue that this allows it better to capture features relevant to claims made about transitive proxy voting.
After proposing the model, I’ll examine it from an axiomatic perspective. I’ll then look at problems of manipulation and control in a proxy vote setting, using the model I have introduced.

Item Type: Report
Report Nr: MoL-2019-22
Series Name: Master of Logic Thesis (MoL) Series
Year: 2019
Subjects: Computation
Depositing User: Dr Marco Vervoort
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2019 02:58
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2020 15:18

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