NIPS Proceedingsβ

A Mathematical Model For Optimal Decisions In A Representative Democracy

Part of: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NIPS 2018)

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Conference Event Type: Poster


Direct democracy, where each voter casts one vote, fails when the average voter competence falls below 50%. This happens in noisy settings when voters have limited information. Representative democracy, where voters choose representatives to vote, can be an elixir in both these situations. We introduce a mathematical model for studying representative democracy, in particular understanding the parameters of a representative democracy that gives maximum decision making capability. Our main result states that under general and natural conditions, 1. for fixed voting cost, the optimal number of representatives is linear; 2. for polynomial cost, the optimal number of representatives is logarithmic.