Incomplete Preferences in Single-Peaked Electorates

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Zack Fitzsimmons


Incomplete preferences are likely to arise in real-world preference aggregation scenarios. This paper deals with determining whether an incomplete preference profile is single-peaked. This is valuable information since many intractable voting problems become tractable given singlepeaked preferences. We prove that the problem of recognizing single-peakedness is NP-complete for incomplete profiles consisting of partial orders. Despite this intractability result, we find several polynomial-time algorithms for reasonably restricted settings. In particular, we give polynomial-time recognition algorithms for weak orders, which can be viewed as preferences with indifference.

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