[EM] High Resolution Inferred Approval version of ASM

John john.r.moser at gmail.com
Fri Jun 21 14:14:33 PDT 2019

Cardinal voting collects higher-resolution data, but not necessarily
precise data.

Let's say you score candidates:

A: 1.0
B: 0.5
C: 0.25
D: 0.1

In reality, B is 90% as favored as A. C is 70% as favored as B.  The real
numbers would be:

A: 1.0
B: 0.9
C: 0.63
D: etc.

How would this happen?

Cardinal: I approve of A 90% as much as B.

Natural and honest: I prefer A to win, and I am not just as happy with B
winning, or close to it.  I feel maybe half as good about that?  B is
between C and D and I don't like C, but I like D less.

Strategic: even voting 0.5 for B means possibly helping B beat A, but what
if C wins...

The strategic nightmare is inherent to score and approval systems.  When
approvals aren't used to elect but only for data, people are not naturally
inclined to analyze a score representing their actual approval.


Because people decide by simulation. Simulation of ordinal preference is
easy: I like A over B.  Even then, sometimes you can't seem to decide who
is better.

Working out precisely how much I approve of A versus B is harder.  It takes
a lot of effort and the basic simulation approach responds heavily to how
good you feel about A losing to B, not about how much B satisfies you on a
scale of 0 to A.

Score and approval voting source a high-error, low-confidence sample.  It's
like recording climate data by licking your finger and holding it in the
wind each day, then writing down what you think is the temperature.
Someone will say, "it's more data than warmer/colder trends!" While
ignoring that you are not Mercury in a graduated cylinder.

On Fri, Jun 21, 2019, 3:10 PM Felix Sargent <felix.sargent at gmail.com> wrote:

> Valuation can be ordinal, in that you can know that 3 is more than 2.
> There are two questions before us: Which voting method collects more data?
> Which tabulation method picks the best winner from that data?
> Which voting method collects more data?
> Cardinal voting collects higher resolution data than ordinal voting.
> Consider this thought experiment. If I give you a rating of A:5 B:2 C:1 D:3
> E:5 F:2 you should create an ordered list from that -- AEDFBC. If I gave
> you AEDFBC you couldn't convert that back into its cardinal data.
> Which tabulation picks a better winner from the data?
> Both Score and Approval voting pick the person with the highest votes.
> Summing ordinal data, on the other hand, is very complicated, as to avoid
> loops. Methods like Condorcet or IRV have been proposed to eliminate those
> but ultimately they're hacks for dealing with incomplete information.
> Felix Sargent <https://felixsargent.com>
> On Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 5:23 AM John <john.r.moser at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Voters can't readily provide meaningful information as score voting. It's
>> highly-strategic and the comparison of cardinal values is not natural.
>> All valuation is ordinal.  Prices are based from cost; but what people
>> WILL pay, given no option to pay less, is based on ordinal comparison.
>> Is X worth 2 Y?
>> For the $1,000 iPhone I could have a OnePlus 6t and a Chromebook. The
>> 6t...I can get a cheaper smartphone, but I prefer the 6t to that phone plus
>> whatever else I buy.
>> I have a higher paying job, so each dollar is worth fewer hours, so the
>> ordinal value of a dollar to me is lower.  $600 of my dollars is fewer
>> hours than $600 minimum wage dollars.  I have access to my
>> most-preferred purchases and can buy way down into my less-preferred
>> purchases.
>> Information about this is difficult to pin down by voter.  Prices in the
>> stock market set by a constant, public auction among millions of buyers and
>> sellers.  A single buyer can hardly price one stock against another, and
>> prices against what they think their gains will be relative to current
>> price.
>> When pricing candidates, you'll see a lot like Mohs hardness: 2 is 200, 3
>> is 500, 4 is 1,500; but we label things that are 250 or 450 as 2.5,
>> likewise between 500 and 1,500 is 3.5.  Being between X and Y is always
>> immediately HALFWAY between X and Y, most intuitively.
>> The rated system sucks even before you factor in strategic concerns
>> (which only matter if actually using a score-driven method).
>> Approval is just low-resolution (1 bit) score voting.
>> On Fri, Jun 21, 2019, 12:01 AM C.Benham <cbenham at adam.com.au> wrote:
>>> Forest,
>>> With paper and pencil ballots and the voters only writing in their
>>> numerical scores it probably isn't very practical for the Australian
>>> Electoral Commission
>>> hand vote-counters.
>>> But if it isn't compulsory to mark each candidate and the default score
>>> is zero, I'm sure the voters could quickly adapt.
>>> In the US I gather that there is at least one reform proposal to use
>>> these type of ballots. One of these, "Score Voting" aka "Range Voting",
>>> proposes to just use Average Ratings with I gather the default score
>>> being "no opinion"  rather than zero and some tweak to prevent an unknown
>>> candidate from winning.
>>> So it struck me that if we can collect such a large amount of detailed
>>> information from the voters then we could do a lot more with it, and if we
>>> want something that meets the Condorcet criterion this is my suggestion.
>>> Chris Benham
>>> https://rangevoting.org/
>>> *How score voting works:*
>>>    1. Each vote <https://rangevoting.org/MeaningOfVote.html> consists
>>>    of a numerical score within some range (say 0 to 99
>>>    <https://rangevoting.org/Why99.html>) for each candidate. Simpler is
>>>    0 to 9 ("single digit score voting").
>>> On 21/06/2019 5:33 am, Forest Simmons wrote:
>>> Chris, I like it especially the part about naive voters voting sincerely
>>> being at no appreciable disadvantage while resisting burial and complying
>>> with  the CD criterion.
>>> From your experience in Australia where full rankings are required (as I
>>> understand it) what do you think about the practicality of rating on a
>>> scale of zero to 99, as compared with ranking a long list of candidates?
>>> Is it a big obstacle?
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