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Dependence and Independence in Social Choice Theory
May 26, 2015 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The modern era in social choice theory started with Ken Arrow's ground-breaking impossibility theorem. Arrow showed that there is no preference aggregation method satisfying a minimal set of desirable properties. Social choice theory has since grown into a large and multi-faceted research area. In this talk, I focus on one type of theorem studied by social choice theorists: axiomatic characterizations of preference aggregation methods. The principles studied by social choice theorists are intended to identify procedures that ensure that every group decision depends *in the right way* on the voters' inputs. I will show how to formalize these theorems using Jouko Vaananen's dependence and independence logic. This is not merely an exercise in applying a logical framework to a new area. I will argue that dependence and independence logic offers an interesting new perspective on axiomatic characterizations of group decision methods.