[EM] Directional Resistance

Michael Poole mdpoole at troilus.org
Wed Mar 21 20:17:12 PDT 2007

Michael Poole writes:

> 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.

Sorry, not the geometric mean; the total impedance is the reciprocal
of the sum of the reciprocals of each path's impedances.

Michael Poole

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