The voting rules proposed by Dodgson and Young are both
designed to nd the alternative closest to being a Condorcet
winner, according to two dierent notions of proximity; the
score of a given alternative is known to be hard to compute
under either rule.
In this paper, we put forward two algorithms for ap-
proximating the Dodgson score: an LP-based randomized
rounding algorithm and a deterministic greedy algorithm,
both of which yield an O(logm) approximation ratio, where
m is the number of alternatives; we observe that this result
is asymptotically optimal, and further prove that our greedy
algorithm is optimal up to a factor of 2, unless problems in
NP have quasi-polynomial time algorithms. Although the
greedy algorithm is computationally superior, we argue that
the randomized rounding algorithm has an advantage from
a social choice point of view.
Further, we demonstrate that computing any reasonable
approximation of the ranking produced by Dodgson's rule
is NP-hard. This result provides a complexity-theoretic
explanation of sharp discrepancies that have been observed
in the Social Choice Theory literature when comparing
Dodgson elections with simpler voting rules.
Finally, we show that the problem of calculating the
Young score is NP-hard to approximate by any factor. This
leads to an inapproximability result for the Young ranking.