Sunday, January 25, 2009

Computational social choice, social choice theory, and social choice mechanisms

Social choice mechanisms will no doubt be crucial to the operation of large and complex agent systems. Software agents will need to make choices and will need to affect outcomes in multi-agent interactions. Voting is one example. The emerging sub-field of computational social choice is an attempt to adapt the tools and techniques of social choice theory to the realm of computational entities.

I myself have not explored this area beyond the very superficial, but it does show promise.

Some of the specific topic areas are:

  • Algorithmic aspects of voting rules
  • Computational barriers to strategic behaviour
  • Collective decision-making in multi-agent systems
  • Preference elicitation and communication issues in voting
  • Fair division
  • Computational aspects of weighted voting games
  • Collective decision-making in combinatorial domains
  • Logic-based formalisms for social choice problems
  • Belief and judgement aggregation
  • Social software

The overall topic will be covered in a future special issue of Springer's Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems ("Special Issue on Computational Social Choice".)

Keywords: computational social choice, social choice theory, social choice mechanisms, social choice problems, collective decision-making.

-- Jack Krupansky

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