Thursday, January 17 2019
11:00am - 12:00pm
ISyE Main Room 228
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ISyE Seminar- Gerdus Benade

Title:       

Preference elicitation for participatory budgeting

Abstract:

Participatory budgeting enables the allocation of public funds by collecting and aggregating individual preferences; it has already had a sizable real-world impact. But making the most of this new paradigm requires a rethinking of some of the basics of computational social choice, including the very way in which individuals express their preferences. We analytically compare four preference elicitation methods — knapsack votes, rankings by value or value for money, and threshold approval votes — through the lens of implicit utilitarian voting, and find that threshold approval votes are qualitatively superior. This conclusion is supported by experiments using data from real participatory budgeting elections, while a user study  examines the practical implications of the respective methods.

Bio:

Gerdus is a PhD student in operations research at Carnegie Mellon University; he is advised by Ariel Procaccia and John Hooker. His research interests include computational social choice, fair division and discrete optimization. His work emphasizes the impact of human factors like bias, incomplete information and various notions of fairness on traditional voting and assignment problems.