Is There a Better Way to Elect a President?
In the United States, there have been two recent presidential elections (2000 and 2016) in which the electoral-vote winner was not the popular-vote winner. But the problem of determining a winner in a presidential election goes well beyond the peculiarities of the United States. I will discuss some of these problems, focusing on three prominent voting systems–approval voting, single transferable vote, and the Borda count–and discuss the properties they satisfy and paradoxes they give rise to. Problems related to electing legislatures, and satisfying proportional representation, will be briefly described and possible solutions indicated.
Steven J. Brams is Professor of Politics at New York University and the author, co-author, or co-editor of 18 books and about 300 articles. His most recent books are
- Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-Division Procedures (Princeton, 2008);
- Game Theory and the Humanities: Bridging Two Worlds (MIT, 2011);
- Divine Games: Game Theory and the Undecidability of a Superior Being (MIT, 2018).
He holds two patents for fair-division algorithms and is a member of the advisory board of Fair Outcomes, Inc., and the Center for Election Science.
Brams has applied game theory and social-choice theory to voting and elections, bargaining and fairness, international relations, and the Bible, theology, and literature. He is a former president of the Peace Science Society (1990-91) and of the Public Choice Society (2004-2006). He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1986), a Guggenheim Fellow (1986-87), and was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (1998-99).
Luis C. Dias
What are the priorities? From qualitative assessments by experts and stakeholders to policy priorities
Informing policy making has become a major goal of many research projects. This entails defining the overarching objectives and the set of policies to be assessed. Then, policies can be assessed concerning their contribution to each one of the objectives. Finally, a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method can be used to provide an overall assessment for each policy, taking into account the importance of the objectives. This assessment is to a great extent subjective, and different experts and stakeholders might have different perspectives. Moreover, when objectives and policies are defined in generic terms, a precise quantitative assessment would be an illusory goal. In this talk, I will share my recent experience in eliciting qualitative assessments for the importance of the objectives and the impacts of policies, and then performing an MCDA based on those inputs. These assessments have been performed in different contexts aiming at improving sustainability, such as implementing smart grids or dealing with plastic litter in seas, involving participants from academia, public administration, and industry. I will focus on the aspects of aggregating the perspectives of multiple participants and their use to obtain robust conclusions respecting the qualitative nature of their assessments.
Luis C. Dias received his Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Coimbra, where he is currently a Professor in Management Science and Director of the Centre for Business and Economics Research at the Faculty of Economics (FEUC), a collaborator at INESC Coimbra institute, and a member of the coordination board of Univ. Coimbra’s Energy for Sustainability Initiative. He is also currently the Chair of the General Assembly of the Portuguese Operational Research Society (APDIO), an Area Editor for the Omega journal and he is part of the editorial board of the EURO J. on Decision Processes and the Group Decision and Negotiation journal. In the past he has served as FEUC’s Vice-dean for Research, as a Vice-President of APDIO, and as a Subdirector of INESC Coimbra. He has been for brief periods a visiting professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine and the University of Vienna. Luis has published over a hundred articles in books and journals, including some of the main journals in the management science and operations research area, as well as some of the main journals in the energy and environment area. His research interests include multicriteria decision analysis, performance assessment, group decision and negotiation, and sustainability.
What Makes It Possible to Make Group Decisions?: The Theory and Applications of Meta-Decisions
Despite a range of interests and views that we hold, we do often make a collective decision. Perhaps because we have had a prior agreement that we would accept any outcome of a group decision process, or perhaps because no decision is felt even worse than any other outcome. It is apparent that such conditions are not always met. We could and do spend a substantial amount of time and resources for bringing all stakeholders to the negotiating table with a commonly agreed set of decision procedures, only to find that such procedures do not exist. This is partly because once we start debating how to decide, it brings up the issue of how to decide how to decide, and so forth, which leads to an infinite regress. The fact that we do succeed in making some group decisions, however, means that the procedural infinite regress does not always materialize. But why not? Do we all agree on a common set of decision principles at a certain level, or are we just too busy to debate procedures? In my talk I introduce an overview of the recent developments in the theory of meta-decisions. That includes an unexpected encounter of the axiomatic, realistic, and evolutionary approaches to answering the fundamental question of what makes it possible for us to make group decisions, especially in conflict. Applications are also starting to abound in such areas as public conflict management, resource allocations, swarm intelligence, and collaborative AI. All these developments may provide an alternative implication for what group decision-making means today.
Masahide Horita is currently a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tokyo. His areas of interest include: procedural choice, theory of meta-decisions, evolution of cooperation, infrastructure systems management, and AI/DX in construction. He received a PhD from the London School of Economics in 1999 and subsequently worked at Durham Business School as Senior Research Associate until he moved to the University of Tokyo in October, 2000. He is the author of a number of papers and books, including Innovations in Collaborative Urban Regeneration, (co-edited with Koizumi, H) Springer. Professor Horita also advises home and overseas governments on various infrastructure policies, serving on the Central Construction Industry Council. He is a member of IEEE, a Fellow of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE), and an associate editor of Group Decision and Negotiation journal. His recent paper, “Social Ranking Problem Based on Rankings of Restricted Coalitions,” co-authored with Takahiro Suzuki, was awarded as the Best Paper in GDN 2021.
2022 INFORMS GDN Section Award Recipient
Digital Transformation of Negotiations – The Road Goes Ever on and on
Negotiations are a vital means of coordination, be they private negotiations, business negotiations, or political negotiations. Business negotiations as an archetype of inter-organisational interaction have seen the advent of digital support since the 1980s.
The first digital negotiation systems were rudimentary decision support systems. The focus was thus on the quantitative part of the negotiation process. With the advent of internet technology and its wide availability, the second wave of negotiation support systems started in the late 1990s. Two main avenues were followed. The automation of negotiation process through the development of negotiation agents was countered by negotiation support systems that provided support but left the negotiator in charge of decision making. Now that we see the third wave and systems become more intelligent, for example using Artificial Intelligence, the gap between autonomous agents and negotiation support closes as negotiation support systems nowadays employ intelligent features and even agent technology.
Selected aspects of the digital transformation of business negotiations will be discussed and illustrated using the negotiation support system Negoisst.
Mareike Schoop is Professor of Information Systems at the University of Hohenheim. She has been visiting professor at the University of Oxford in 2012 and 2019 and at the Technical University of Vienna in 2009. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Manchester and a Habilitation from Aachen University. Mareike Schoop has designed and developed the negotiation support system Negoisst that is used in international negotiation simulations worldwide and offers the most comprehensive support of negotiations. She is editor-in-chief of the Journal Group Decision and Negotiations has published over 150 articles on a variety of topics in negotiation research and information systems.