Multi-Party Campaigning

05/09/2020 ∙ by Martin Koutecký, et al. ∙ 0

We study a social choice setting of manipulation in elections and extend the usual model in two major ways: first, instead of considering a single manipulating agent, in our setting there are several, possibly competing ones; second, instead of evaluating an election after the first manipulative action, we allow several back-and-forth rounds to take place. We show that in certain situations, such as in elections with only a few candidates, optimal strategies for each of the manipulating agents can be computed efficiently. Our algorithmic results rely on formulating the problem of finding an optimal strategy as sentences of Presburger arithmetic that are short and only involve small coefficients, which we show is fixed-parameter tractable – indeed, one of our contributions is a general result regarding fixed-parameter tractability of Presburger arithmetic that might be useful in other settings. Following our general theorem, we design quite general algorithms; in particular, we describe how to design efficient algorithms for various settings, including settings in which we model diffusion of opinions in a social network, complex budgeting schemes available to the manipulating agents, and various realistic restrictions on adversary actions.

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