[EM] Directional Resistance

Michael Poole mdpoole at troilus.org
Wed Mar 21 20:08:50 PDT 2007

Forest W Simmons writes:

> Has anybody explored this idea?
> Make an electrical circuit with a terminal for each candidate.  
> For each pair of terminals attach a diode that has a different 
> resistance in each direction: the resistance in the direction from 
> candidate i to candidate j is proportional to the number of ballots on 
> which candidate j is ranked above candidate i.
> After all of the diodes are attached measure the circuit resistance 
> between terminals i and j.
> The candidate X against whom the maximal resistance is minimal is the 
> winner.

I do not understand the analogy to electrical circuits.

1) Diodes do not have an impedance that is easily characterized by a
single number.  Roughly, they conduct a lot of forward current if the
forward voltage is above a certain value, and have a (negative)
breakdown voltage beyond which they allow current to flow easily in
the reverse direction.

2) If there are independent paths between point X and Y in a circuit
(that is, the endpoints are the only places that any path intersects
with any other path), the impedance from X to Y is the geometric mean
of the impedances of each path.  I do not understand why this would be
desirable for defeat paths.

3) Related to #2, impedance is measured between two points.  When you
say "candidate X against whom the maximal resistance is minimal", what
is the other point of reference for measuring resistance?

What properties of a resistive network were you trying to capture?

Michael Poole.

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