[EM] D2MAC can be much more efficient than Range Voting

Michael Poole mdpoole at troilus.org
Wed Mar 7 07:45:37 PST 2007

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax writes:

> At 05:06 AM 3/7/2007, Jobst Heitzig wrote:
>>it is frequently claimed that methods which involve randomness may be
>>fairer than other methods but will give "worse" results.
> Given that it couold appear that I have made that claim, let me be 
> explicit that I have not. I have claimed something which could be 
> misread as that claim, and the misreading shows, if this is what 
> happened, that my actual claim has not been understood.
> Of course, Jobst may simply be making a general statement and, in 
> general, he will be correct that such claims, as he has stated them, are false.
> My actual claim is that *ordinarily*, where the use of random choice 
> allows a minority to prevail over a majority *without the consent of 
> the majority*, introducing this randomness is introducing noise.
> And "noise" is precisely the correct term. If we have an electronic 
> decision-making system that depends on logic and/or pattern 
> recognition to make choices, and we introduce into that system 
> electronic noise that causes the built-in choice functions to be 
> ignored, *under most conditions* this will degrade the performance of 
> the system.

This is rather hand-wavy in the absence of any definition of "noise"
in an electoral context.  Key in traditional noise calculation is
having both multiple outputs and a definition of what the outputs
should be.

Suppose a repeated choice is made according to the wishes of factions
in proportion to the factions' sizes.  One could easily argue that
this is a more accurate representation of the voters' wishes than one
that always selects the choice of the largest faction or coalition.
Would these variations be signal or noise?

Depending on how you define noise -- and how you model the signal --
the same kind of behavior in an electrical system could be noise or it
could be accurate signal acqusition.

If the choice is not repeated, I do not see how a useful definition of
either signal or noise would apply to the election method.  The only
noise measure in a one-time election is how accurately ballots capture
the voters' wishes; there is no clear measure of signal or noise for
the single output of "election winner".

Michael Poole

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