Explainable and Efficient Randomized Voting Rules

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Soroush Ebadian, Aris Filos-Ratsikas, Mohamad Latifian, Nisarg Shah


With a rapid growth in the deployment of AI tools for making critical decisions (or aiding humans in doing so), there is a growing demand to be able to explain to the stakeholders how these tools arrive at a decision. Consequently, voting is frequently used to make such decisions due to its inherent explainability. Recent work suggests that using randomized (as opposed to deterministic) voting rules can lead to significant efficiency gains measured via the distortion framework. However, rules that use intricate randomization can often become too complex to explain to the stakeholders; losing explainability can eliminate the key advantage of voting over black-box AI tools, which may outweigh the efficiency gains.We study the efficiency gains which can be unlocked by using voting rules that add a simple randomization step to a deterministic rule, thereby retaining explainability. We focus on two such families of rules, randomized positional scoring rules and random committee member rules, and show, theoretically and empirically, that they indeed achieve explainability and efficiency simultaneously to some extent.