Theory and Decision

, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 213–253 | Cite as

Counting votes in coupled decisions

An efficient method for counting votes in coupled decisions with multiple inequality restrictions
  • Andreas Wendemuth
  • Italo Simonelli


We consider scenarios with distributed decision processes, e.g., coupled majorities and personal union in parliament chambers, supranational decisions and supervisory boards. When computing the adoption rate for reaching a decision in these scenarios, multiple linear inequality restrictions in combinatorial countings are present. These rates cannot be computed in closed form. We introduce a general method for incorporating multiple inequality conditions in multiple majority decisions, which significantly reduces the number of involved summations and removes restrictions on the summation indices. Exact solutions are provided through (a) integral representations which can be evaluated numerically, and (b) unrestricted, contracted sums over discrete events. Further, we provide methods to reduce the number of necessary summations by splitting or recurring the original problem to easier sub-problems. For five dedicated scenarios, full results are given which indeed require a single unrestricted summation only.


Coupled decisions Double counting methods Multiple restricted majorities Personal union Voting game  Social choice 



One of us (A. Wendemuth) acknowledges continued support by the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 62 “Companion-Technology for Cognitive Technical Systems” ( funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive Systems Group, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information TechnologyOtto-von-Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceMcDaniel CollegeWestminsterUSA

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