June 2019: Advanced Topics in Computational Social Choice

  • Instructors: Arthur Boixel, Ulle Endriss
  • The purpose of this one-month intensive project course is for you to get some first-hand experience with doing research in computational social choice. You will take part in a research workshop and you will work through and then present a recent paper from the relevant literature. But you will spend most of your time working on an original research question of your own choosing in a small team. At the end of the month you will present your findings in a talk and write them up in a paper.

    Further information will be added to this website as we go along.


    The number of participants for this course is limited and prior registration is required. If you would like to take part, please signal your interest by sending an email to Ulle no later than Tuesday 21 May 2019. In your email please indicate

    1. whether there will be any constraints on your availability in June,
    2. what topics in COMSOC you are particularly interested in,
    3. whether you already have an idea for a research question to investigate (this is optional),
    4. whether you have formed a team already (this is also optional).
    Ideally, teams will have three members each. We will permit teams of two members provided that does not result in there being more teams than we can manage to provide adequate supervision for.


    All participants must have a good overview of the COMSOC research area (which will be the case for anyone who has taken the regular COMSOC course).


    The 3rd ILLC Workshop on Collective Decision Making will take place on 6-7 June 2019 (Thursday-Friday).
    The presentations on recent papers are tentatively scheduled for Thursday 13 June 2019, and the final project presentations for Friday 28 June 2019.
    The deadline for submitting your final project paper is Friday 5 July 2019 at 23:59 AoE (which is one week after the end of the official project period).


    This is a 6EC course running over four weeks, so you are expected to work on it for around 40 hours each week and you should generally be available for meetings. You must be present at the workshop and all student talks.


    Grading will be on a pass/fail basis. A necessary condition for passing the course is that you have taken part in all components of the course and have submitted all deliverables.

    Workshop Attendance and Exercises

    Attend the 3rd ILLC Workshop on Collective Decision Making and submit your solutions to the following three exercises by the end of Tuesday, 11 June 2019 by email to Arthur. Write around half a page of text for each of them.

    1. Write an abstract for one of the posters presented at the workshop.
    2. For one of the invited talks that discusses a topic you consider a clear example for research in computational social choice, sketch the "social history" of the work presented. That is, try to answer questions such as these: Who are the authors (besides the speaker)? Does the work presented correspond to a published paper, to several papers, or to preliminary work? Why do these people work together? Have they worked together before (and if so, what about)? Is this someone's PhD work? Is this part of a formal (funded) project? And so forth.
    3. For one of the invited talks that discusses a topic that, in your mind, does not obviously qualify as an example for work in computational social choice, discuss how it relates to computational social choice, how it might lead to interesting new developments in computational social choice, or how it might benefit from insights in computational social choice.

    Paper Presentations

    To learn about some recent research trends in COMSOC, but also to practice the skill of delving into a new paper that has just come out, that looks promising, but for which you cannot yet be sure how significant it will turn out to be or how relevant it might prove to your own research, each of you will read one recent paper from the COMSOC literature and present it to all of us in a 30-minute talk.

    The papers available for presentation are papers that look interesting to us, but which we have not had time yet to read ourselves. For now we have selected the following papers for you to choose from (we'll add more soon):

    Before your presentations we will organise a meeting to discuss how to give a talk.

    Selected Papers


    You will spend most of your time exploring an original research question that you have come up with yourself. Finding a suitable topic is pretty difficult. Please talk to any of us about your vague and half-baked ideas already before June so we can help you refine them. There is some generic advice for how you might come up with an idea on the webpages of the COMSOC course for 2015 (on judgment aggregation) and 2017 (on voting theory).

    We will schedule a few supervision meetings with individual teams and also talk about everyone's progress during plenary meetings. This will include a meeting where we will discuss how to write a paper.

    Your final paper must conform to the submission guidelines for this year's IJCAI (except that it should not be anonymised).


    Tuesday June 4th, 15:00, Room F2.01 Kick-off Meeting
    Thursday June 6th 3rd ILLC Workshop on Collective Decision Making
    Friday June 7th 3rd ILLC Workshop on Collective Decision Making
    Tuesday June 11th, 11:30, Room F2.02 Progress Meeting: Preparation of Paper Presentations
    Thursday June 13th, 15:00, Room F1.15 Paper Presentations (30 minutes each)
    Tuesday June 18th, 11:00, Room F2.02 Progress Meeting
    Friday June 21th, 14:00, Room F2.02 Progress Meeting
    Monday June 24th, 16:00, Room F1.15 Progress Meeting
    Friday June 28th, 16:00, Room F2.19 Final Project Presentations


    Friday July 5th Deadline - Final Project Paper Submission