Decision Sciences & Systems
Technical University of Munich

Prof. Dr. Felix Brandt
Florian Brandl, M.Sc.; Christian Geist, M.Sc.

Lecture and Tutorials in WS2013/14

Computational Social Choice (IN2229)


  • Lecture: Tuesdays, 13.15 - 15.45, Room 01.10.011 (first lecture: 22 Oct 2013)
  • Tutorial:
    • Mondays, 16.30 - 18.00, room 01.10.011 (first tutorial: 28 Oct 2013)
    • Mondays, 17.00 - 18.30, room 01.10.011 (first tutorial: 28 Oct 2013)
    • T-exercises will be presented in the "core" time from 17.00 - 18.00. 
  • SWS: 3+2
  • Credits: 6
  • Registration: Go to TUMonline and search for LV Nr. 0000000272
  • Classification: "Formale Methoden und ihre Anwendungen" (FMA)
  • Module decription: IN2229
  • Language: English
  • Exam: 4 Feb 2014, 16:30 - 18:30, room 5504.01.450 (MW 1450, Willy-Messerschmitt-Zeichensaal)
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is an advanced theory courseIt is expected that participants are experienced in formally proving mathematical statements and are familiar with standard proof techniques. Addtionally, basic knowledge of complexity theory is useful (e.g., Module IN0011). If you have never proved a mathematical statement, this is probably not the right course for you.


Social choice theory deals with the aggregation of individual preferences into a collective choice such as in voting. This course focusses on the analysis and comparison of aggregation functions that are based on simple majority rule. After introducing the mathematical and microeconomic foundations of social choice theory, particular attention will be paid to algorithmic aspects.

Tentative list of topics:


Exercises are voluntary, but highly recommended. Each exercise sheet will contain tutorial exercises (T) and homework exercises (H). If you correctly solve at least 60 per cent of (H) exercises and pass the exam with a grade between 1.3 and 4.0, your final grade will be your exam grade minus 0.3 (for example, the grade 1.7 will be turned into 1.4).

Exercise sheets will be made available each Tuesday. They are due the following Monday at 16.00 (before the first tutorial begins).


There will be a written exam at the end of the semester, which will be graded according to the following grading scale:

  • [0,5) points: 5,0
  • [5,11) points: 4,7
  • [11,17) points: 4,3
  • [17,19] points: 4,0
  • (19,22] points: 3,7
  • (22,24] points: 3,3
  • (24,26] points: 3,0
  • (26,28] points: 2,7
  • (28,30] points: 2,3
  • (30,32] points: 2,0
  • (32,34] points: 1,7
  • (34,36] points: 1,3
  • (36,40] points: 1,0

The only resource you may use during the exam are two hand-written sheets of DIN A4 paper that you prepared yourself (you may write on both sides of each sheet). In particular, electronic devices, books, photocopies, and printouts are disallowed.

The exam will be in English. If need be, answers in German are acceptable, too.

Please remember to bring your student id (or an equivalent photo id).

We will notify you by email when the grades are available in TUMonline.


There is no textbook that covers all the topics listed above. Lecture slides will be published on a weekly basis. The 2012 survey article below informally covers many topics of this course. You can learn more about computational social choice here.

Articles (available online):

Recommended advanced books:

  • D. Austen-Smith and J. Banks: Positive Political Theory I, University of Michigan Press, 1999.
  • M. R. Garey and D. S. Johnson. Computers and Intractability: A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness. W. H. Freeman, 1979.
  • W. Gärtner: A Primer in Social Choice Theory, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • J. Laslier. Tournament Solutions and Majority Voting. Springer-Verlag, 1997.
  • H. Moulin. Axioms of Cooperative Decision Making. Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • S. Nitzan. Collective Preference and Choice. Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • A. Taylor. Social Choice and the Mathematics of Manipulation, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Related courses:


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