Voting Systems Research

I just saw a piece over at Stack overflow’s blog, called Vote Fraud and You – Blog – Stack Overflow.  Stack overflow is a Q&A site geared towards programming.  I think it’s a high-quality site, with many wiki-like features.  It’s designed more for the creation of archival quality information than for ephemeral Q&A (see Yahoo Answers).

This post reminds me that voting systems are still poorly understood, and a rich research area.  For example, the article discusses the development of technology that automatically detects “revenge voting patterns”.  Very cool.  However, I’m sad that most of this work appears to be happing (for the time being) in industry, where it’s harder for the rest of us to learn from these innovations.

Researchers: let’s see more work on voting systems!  If I build a points system into my community site, how should it work?

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One thought on “Voting Systems Research

  1. Voting systems are interesting stuff — I hadn’t thought much about them until working on rrankk.com. On that project, partially since our expected uses involved more one-off “elections” as opposed to an ongoing filtering system like SO has, we looked mainly to academic elections theory (via wikipedia, I admit). Lots of interesting concepts there, like the clone problem, that applied to our efforts — but not stuff like ‘revenge voting’ which only makes sense with these online systems.

    For anyone looking at implementing some of the academic voting systems (condorcet family seems most promising) in a ruby setting, http://rubyvote.rubyforge.org/ is worth a look. The SVN head has a few patches I made last year which make it a bit more useful in such a setting.

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