PDF | PostScript | doi:10.1613/jair.2697

Control and bribery are settings in which an external agent seeks to influence the outcome of an election. Constructive control of elections refers to attempts by an agent to, via such actions as addition/deletion/partition of candidates or voters, ensure that a given candidate wins. Destructive control refers to attempts by an agent to, via the same actions, preclude a given candidate's victory. An election system in which an agent can sometimes affect the result and it can be determined in polynomial time on which inputs the agent can succeed is said to be vulnerable to the given type of control. An election system in which an agent can sometimes affect the result, yet in which it is NP-hard to recognize the inputs on which the agent can succeed, is said to be resistant to the given type of control.

Aside from election systems with an NP-hard winner problem, the only systems previously known to be resistant to all the standard control types were highly artificial election systems created by hybridization. This paper studies a parameterized version of Copeland voting, denoted by Copeland^\alpha, where the parameter \alpha is a rational number between 0 and 1 that specifies how ties are valued in the pairwise comparisons of candidates. In every previously studied constructive or destructive control scenario, we determine which of resistance or vulnerability holds for Copeland^\alpha for each rational \alpha, 0 \leq \alpha \leq 1. In particular, we prove that Copeland^{0.5}, the system commonly referred to as ``Copeland voting,'' provides full resistance to constructive control, and we prove the same for Copeland^\alpha, for all rational \alpha, 0 < \alpha < 1. Among systems with a polynomial-time winner problem, Copeland voting is the first natural election system proven to have full resistance to constructive control. In addition, we prove that both Copeland^0 and Copeland^1 (interestingly, Copeland^1 is an election system developed by the thirteenth-century mystic Llull) are resistant to all standard types of constructive control other than one variant of addition of candidates. Moreover, we show that for each rational \alpha, 0 \leq \alpha \leq 1, Copeland^\alpha voting is fully resistant to bribery attacks, and we establish fixed-parameter tractability of bounded-case control for Copeland^\alpha.

We also study Copeland^\alpha elections under more flexible models such as microbribery and extended control, we integrate the potential irrationality of voter preferences into many of our results, and we prove our results in both the unique-winner model and the nonunique-winner model. Our vulnerability results for microbribery are proven via a novel technique involving min-cost network flow.