Decision Sciences & Systems
Technical University of Munich

Prof. Dr. Felix Brandt
Florian Brandl, M.Sc., Christian Stricker, M.Sc.

Lecture and Tutorials in WS 18/19

Computational Social Choice (IN2229)


  • Lecture: Tuesdays, 14.15 - 16.45, room 01.10.011 (first lecture: 16 Oct 2018)
  • Tutorials: Mondays, 16.30 - 18.00 & 18.00 - 19.30, room 01.10.011 (first tutorial: 22 Oct 2018)
  • SWS: 3+2
  • Credits: 6
  • Registration: Via TUMonline for the lecture and the tutorials
  • Classification: "Algorithmen" (ALG)
  • Module decription: IN2229
  • Language: English
  • Exam: 28 February 2019

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is a theory courseIt is expected that participants are familiar with formal mathematics and standard proof techniques. Addtionally, basic knowledge about NP-completeness is useful (e.g., Module IN0011).


Social choice theory deals with the aggregation of individual preferences into a collective choice such as in voting. This course focusses on the analysis and comparison of aggregation functions that are based on simple majority rule. After introducing the mathematical and microeconomic foundations of social choice theory, particular attention will be paid to algorithmic aspects.

Tentative list of topics:


Exercises are voluntary, but highly recommended. Each exercise sheet will contain tutorial exercises (T) and homework exercises (H). If you correctly solve at least 60 per cent of (H) exercises and pass the exam with a grade between 1.3 and 4.0, your final grade will be your exam grade minus 0.3 (for example, the grade 1.7 will be turned into 1.4).

Exercise sheets will be made available each Tuesday. They are due the following Monday at 16.00 (before the first tutorial begins). Submission is possible either via the chair's post box in the FMI basement (marked "Prof. Brandt") or at the beginning of the first tutorial.

You can form teams of at most three students.


There will be a written exam at the end of the semester, which will be graded according to the following grading scale:

  • [0,5) points: 5,0
  • [5,11) points: 4,7
  • [11,17) points: 4,3
  • [17,19] points: 4,0
  • (19,22] points: 3,7
  • (22,24] points: 3,3
  • (24,26] points: 3,0
  • (26,28] points: 2,7
  • (28,30] points: 2,3
  • (30,32] points: 2,0
  • (32,34] points: 1,7
  • (34,36] points: 1,3
  • (36,40] points: 1,0

The only resource you may use during the exam are two hand-written sheets of DIN A4 paper that you prepared yourself (you may write on both sides of each sheet). In particular, electronic devices, books, photocopies, and printouts are disallowed.

The exam will be in English. If need be, answers in German are acceptable, too.

Please remember to bring your student id (or an equivalent photo id).

We will notify you by email when the grades are available in TUMonline.


There is no textbook that covers all the topics listed above. Lecture slides will be published on a weekly basis. You can learn more about the computational social choice community here.

Available online:

Recommended advanced books:

  • D. Austen-Smith and J. Banks: Positive Political Theory I, University of Michigan Press, 1999.
  • W. Gärtner: A Primer in Social Choice Theory, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • J. Laslier. Tournament Solutions and Majority Voting. Springer-Verlag, 1997.
  • H. Moulin. Axioms of Cooperative Decision Making. Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • S. Nitzan. Collective Preference and Choice. Cambridge University Press, 2010
  • A. Taylor. Social Choice and the Mathematics of Manipulation, Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Related courses:


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