Challenges for Theoretical Computer Science (Re: [EM] Hello everybody!

Craig Carey research at
Fri Sep 21 07:18:05 PDT 2001

At 01.09.21 12:21 +0000 Friday, heitzig at wrote:
 >I just found this list and really wish I had before! Since we gave an
 >"oder-theoretic" seminar on social choice in my math department, I am
 >strongly interested in decision making alias social choice alias
 >voting alias preference aggregation, but only recently checked out
 >searching for "election"... Why must there be so many different names
 >for essentially the same thing?

To perhaps save the author some searching time, the software that can
cope with the mathematics of preferential voting is REDLOG, and probably
eventually, Mathematica.

 >There is a project of mine called GrouCho which aims at implementing
 >online tools for group decisions when individuals have INCOMPLETE (or
 >even cyclic) PREFERENCES. All of you are invited to check out how far
 >I got until now at
 >and perhaps participate in my demo poll on movies :-)
 >...especially: Does anyone know if such a thing already exists
 >somewhere? I was quite puzzled to learn that my favourite rules (which
 >are also used at the site) had not been invented by me but are
 >essentially generalizations of Ranked Pairs by Tideman.
 >Jobst Heitzig

Indeed, what is a "cyclic ... preference"?.

An intent to be part of coalitions can quite definitely be represented
by STV papers. Some of social decision theory is of doubtful value if
it concerns itself with the badness with which STV-style papers model
intent, if once the intent is 'thunked' into those papers, there is
an abandonment of reasoning and pairwise comparing ideas are used in
the constructing of a method to find a solution.

I can't recall ever having been aware of knowing precisely what the
perfect 'infinitesimal in scope' properties of the (Tideman) Ranked
Pairs method is. I suppose it is something that does not need to be

 >Proposed Challenges for Theoretical Computer Science
 >(Last Updated 18 May 2000)
 >This page contains proposed challenges for theoretical computer
 >science to be discussed at the upcoming Workshop on Challenges
 >for Theoretical Computer Science and/or included in the
 >resulting report. If you would like to submit a proposed
 >challenge, send a paragraph-length description (html, raw text,
 >latex source) to David Johnson (dsj at
 >For each proposal, we list the proposer and the date that the
 >proposed challenge was added to the website (to help repeat
 >visitors identify what is new since the last time they visited).
 >     Area: Connections with Social Science
 >Challenge: Modelling Conflict/Competition/Coalition
 >Fred Roberts - 12 May 2000
 >Game Theory was developed to model
 >conflict/competition/coalition behavior. Today's business and
 >military operations commonly involve coalitions. The coalition
 >partners are sometimes also competitors. Information sharing is
 >needed, but vital interests of partners must be protected.
 >Game theory has traditionally provided a framework for analyzing
 >competitive decision making, but major new developments are
 >needed to handle these new competitive realities. Challenges for
 >TCS include modeling security and interoperability in the
 >conflict/competition context of game theory.

Inside preferential voting, there is no consideration of the
casting of shadows, and outside in the topic of social decision
theory there is no study of an shapelessly complex collection
of ideas of voters as mathematically complex as turbulence, best
left to computers. Having some made-up methods appear from
economists may not be doing much more than adding to the knowledge
of what is arbitrary.

None can doubt the prolificity of the social decision theorists.

Mr Donald G. Saari has another book out, titled
"Chaotic Elections! A Mathematician Looks at Voting". I prefer
the word "turbulence which makes it plainer that the theory the
preferentialists are expecting is not being produced. "Chaotic"
suggests more than it is hopeless getting them to clarify their
thinking in the topic.

Craig Carey

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