Efficient Algorithms

Foundations of Interactive Democracy

Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the Emmy Noether Programme

Project duration: 2018 - 2023


This project studies axiomatic and computational foundations of Interactive Democracy. Interactive Democracy (ID) (aka digital democracy or e-democracy) is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of approaches to make democratic processes more engaging and responsive. A common goal of these approaches is to utilize modern information technology---in particular, the Internet---in order to enable more interactive decision making processes.

An integral part of many ID proposals are online decision platforms that provide much more flexibility and interaction possibilities than traditional democratic systems. The successful design of online decision platforms presents a multidisciplinary research challenge; the theory of preference aggregation (aka social choice theory) seems particularly relevant. However, existing ID proposals are mostly disconnected from the vast body of scientific literature on preference aggregation. 

The project aims to remedy this by exploring how mathematically grounded voting theory can be employed to aid the design of online decision platforms and other ID tools. Both axiomatic and computational techniques will play a vital role in this rigorous foundational analysis of the voting-theoretic aspects of ID. Insights from computational social choice, an emerging research area at the intersection of computer science and economics, will be particularly relevant for this endeavor.

Overview Papers

For more information, see the following overview papers: