ORIE Seminar: José Correa (Universidad de Chile)


Zoom: https://cornell.zoom.us/j/92473910438?pwd=WVFyalcxYW5mN1VXMy84WDE4ZEJYdz09


Multidimensional Apportionment

Deciding how to allocate the seats of a house of representatives is one of the most fundamental problems in the political organization of societies, and has been widely studied over already two centuries. The idea of proportionality is at the core of most approaches to tackle this problem, and this notion is captured by the divisor methods, such as the Jefferson/D'Hondt method. In a seminal work, Balinski and Demange extended the single-dimensional idea of divisor methods to the setting in which the seat allocation is simultaneously determined by two dimensions, and proposed the so-called biproportional apportionment method. The method, currently used in several electoral systems, is however limited to two dimensions and the question of extending it is considered to be an important problem both theoretically and in practice. In this work, we initiate the study of multidimensional proportional apportionment. We first formalize a notion of multidimensional proportionality that naturally extends that of Balinski and Demange. By means of analyzing an appropriate integer linear program, we are able to prove that, in contrast to the two-dimensional case, the existence of multidimensional proportional apportionments is not guaranteed, and deciding its existence is NP-complete. Interestingly, our main result asserts that it is possible to find approximate multidimensional proportional apportionments that deviate from the marginals by a small amount. The proof arises through the lens of discrepancy theory, mainly inspired by the celebrated Beck-Fiala Theorem. We finally evaluate our approach by using the data from the recent 2021 Chilean Constitutional Convention election.

This is joint work with Javier Cembrano and Victor Verdugo and a preliminary version appeared at EC 2021.

José Correa is a full professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Universidad de Chile and a researcher at the Center for Mathematical Modeling. His research, focusing on algorithmic game theory and mechanism design, has received numerous awards including an ACM SIGecom best paper award, an INFORMS Transportation Science and Logistics best paper awards, a Tucker prize finalist and research awards from Amazon and Google. José has given keynote talks at several institutions and conferences and has been on the program committee of international computer science conferences. He also serves and has served on the editorial board of some of the leading journals of his field: Mathematical Programming B, Mathematics of Operations Research (as Game Theory Area Editor), and Operations Research.