rr Social Choice Theory (WS 2012/13)
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Seminar Social Choice Theory (WS 2012/13)

Basic Information

Lecture time:
Wednesdays 14-16 (First meeting 17.10.12)
Lecture room:
023, Campus E 1.4
Lecturers: Christine Rizkallah and Rob van Stee
Audience: The seminar counts as computer science seminar (2 SWS, 7 CP). Talks should be given in English.

Credits: You earn the usual 7 credit points for a seminar if you (i) give a 45 minute presentation of the paper given to you, and (ii) write short summaries (about one page) about four topics other than your own. Summaries should be handed in within one day after the topic is presented. They are meant to summarize the topic and not the presentation. If you present a paper you will summarize 4 book chapters and if you present a book chapter you will summarize 3 papers and a book chapter. The presentation needs to be discussed with us at least one week before your scheduled talk in the seminar: please make an appointment by mail. This means in particular that you should have your presentation READY one week in advance, so that you can give a practice talk and we may discuss it. If you want credit for the course, please register by sending a short mail.
Initial Material: In this seminar we will discuss similar topics to the ones discussed in the following courses:
Computational Social Choice and Social Choice Theory for Logicians


Social choice theory is the study of mechanisms for collective decision making where preferences of individuals are aggregated to produce a social welfare function. This seminar will focus on classical results in the field of social choice theory. We will cover some impossibility theorems such as Arrow's impossibility theorem, Sen's impossibility theorem. We will also go through axiomatc characterizations of voting methods such as May's characterization of the majority rule and Young's characterization of scoring rules. Moreover, we will cover some voting paradoxes such as Condorcet's paradox, Anscombe's paradox, and the No-Show paradox. We will also discuss strategic manipulation where a voter can sometimes improve the outcome of an election for herself by misrepresenting her preferences the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem is a key result in this field.


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