Putting a Compass on the Map of Elections

by   Niclas Boehmer, et al.

Recently, Szufa et al. [AAMAS 2020] presented a "map of elections" that visualizes a set of 800 elections generated from various statistical cultures. While similar elections are grouped together on this map, there is no obvious interpretation of the elections' positions. We provide such an interpretation by introducing four canonical "extreme" elections, acting as a compass on the map. We use them to analyze both a dataset provided by Szufa et al. and a number of real-life elections. In effect, we find a new variant of the Mallows model and show that it captures real-life scenarios particularly well.


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