Is Approval Voting Optimal Given Approval Votes?

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Ariel D. Procaccia, Nisarg Shah


<p>Some crowdsourcing platforms ask workers to express their opinions by approving a set of k good alternatives. It seems that the only reasonable way to aggregate these k-approval votes is the approval voting rule, which simply counts the number of times each alternative was approved. We challenge this assertion by proposing a probabilistic framework of noisy voting, and asking whether approval voting yields an alternative that is most likely to be the best alternative, given k-approval votes. While the answer is generally positive, our theoretical and empirical results call attention to situations where approval voting is suboptimal.</p>