Liquid Democracy: An Analysis in Binary Aggregation and Diffusion

Christoff, Zoé and Grossi, Davide ORCID: 0000-0002-9709-030X
(2016) Liquid Democracy: An Analysis in Binary Aggregation and Diffusion. [Report]

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The paper proposes an analysis of liquid democracy (or, delegable proxy voting) from the perspective of binary aggregation and of binary diffusion models. We show how liquid democracy on binary issues can be embedded into the framework of binary aggregation with abstentions, enabling the transfer of known results about the latter---such as impossibility theorems---to the former. This embedding also sheds light on the relation between delegation cycles in liquid democracy and the probability of collective abstentions, as well as the issue of individual rationality in a delegable proxy voting setting. We then show how liquid democracy on binary issues can be modeled and analyzed also as a specific process of dynamics of binary opinions on networks. These processes---called Boolean DeGroot processes---are a special case of the DeGroot stochastic model of opinion diffusion. We establish the convergence conditions of such processes and show they provide some novel insights on how the effects of delegation cycles and individual rationality could be mitigated within liquid democracy. The study is a first attempt to provide theoretical foundations to the delgable proxy features of the liquid democracy voting system. Our analysis suggests recommendations on how the system may be modified to make it more resilient with respect to the handling of delegation cycles and of inconsistent majorities.

Item Type: Report
Additional Information: Working paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: cs.MA, cs.MA, cs.AI, cs.SI
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 07:48
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 06:58
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