Invited talk

Speaker:  Professor Vincent Conitzer, Duke University

Title: “Crowdsourcing Societal Tradeoffs: Strategic Aspects
(based on joint work with Markus Brill and Rupert Freeman [AAMAS’15], as well as older work with Joseph Farfel [JAAMAS’11])

It would be desirable if, as a society, we could reduce the amount of landfill trash we create, the amount of carbon dioxide we emit, the amount of forest we clear, etc.  Since we cannot (or are in any case not willing to) simultaneously pursue all these objectives to their maximum extent, we must prioritize among them.  Currently, this is done mostly in an ad-hoc manner, with people, companies, local governments, and other entities deciding on an individual basis which of these objectives to pursue, and to what extent.

A more systematic approach would be to set, at a global level, exact numerical tradeoffs: using one gallon of gasoline is as bad as creating x bags of landfill trash.  Having such tradeoffs available would greatly facilitate decision making, and reduce inefficiencies resulting from inconsistent decisions across agents.  But how could we arrive at a reasonable value for x?  I will discuss this from the viewpoint of computational social choice, with a particular focus on strategic aspects for this workshop.