Proportional Participatory Budgeting with Additive Utilities

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Grzegorz Pierczyński, Piotr Skowron, Dominik Peters


We study voting rules for participatory budgeting, where a group of voters collectively decides which projects should be funded using a common budget. We allow the projects to have arbitrary costs, and the voters to have arbitrary additive valuations over the projects. We formulate two axioms that guarantee proportional representation to groups of voters with common interests. To the best of our knowledge, all known rules for participatory budgeting do not satisfy either of the two axioms; in addition we show that the most prominent proportional rule for committee elections, Proportional Approval Voting, cannot be adapted to arbitrary costs nor to additive valuations so that it would satisfy our axioms of proportionality. We construct a simple and attractive voting rule that satisfies one of our axioms (for arbitrary costs and arbitrary additive valuations), and that can be evaluated in polynomial time. We prove that our other stronger axiom is also satisfiable, though by a computationally more expensive and less natural voting rule.