Heuristic Voting as Ordinal Dominance Strategies Academic Article uri icon


  • Decision making under uncertainty is a key component of many AI settings, and in particular of voting scenarios where strategic agents are trying to reach a joint decision. The common approach to handle uncertainty is by maximizing expected utility, which requires a cardinal utility function as well as detailed probabilistic information. However, often such probabilities are not easy to estimate or apply. To this end, we present a framework that allows "shades of gray" of likelihood without probabilities. Specifically, we create a hierarchy of sets of world states based on a prospective poll, with inner sets contain more likely outcomes. This hierarchy of likelihoods allows us to define what we term ordinally-dominated strategies. We use this approach to justify various known voting heuristics as bounded-rational strategies.

publication date

  • January 1, 2019