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Universal Voting Protocol Tweaks to Make Manipulation Hard

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2004, 00:00 by Vincent Conitzer, Tuomas W Sandholm

Voting is a general method for preference aggregation in multiagent settings, but seminal results have shown that all (nondictatorial) voting protocols are
manipulable. One could try to avoid manipulation by using voting protocols where determining a beneficial manipulation is hard computationally. A number of recent papers study the complexity of manipulating existing protocols. This paper is the first work to take the next step of designing
new protocols that are especially hard to manipulate. Rather than designing these new protocols from scratch, we instead show how to tweak existing protocols to make manipulation hard, while leaving much of the original nature of the protocol intact. The tweak studied consists of adding one
elimination preround to the election. Surprisingly, this extremely simple and universal tweak makes typical protocols hard to manipulate! The protocols become NP-hard, #P-hard, or PSPACE-hard to manipulate, depending on whether the schedule of the preround is determined before the votes
are collected, after the votes are collected, or the scheduling and the vote collecting are interleaved, respectively. We prove general sufficient conditions on the protocols for this tweak to introduce the hardness, and show that the most common voting protocols satisfy those conditions. These are the first results in voting settings where manipulation is in a higher complexity class than NP (presuming PSPACE =6 NP).


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© ACM, 2004. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in DOI=