Abstract: The votingrules 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'srule
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 votingrules.
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.

Abstract: In 1876 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson suggested the intriguing votingrule that today bears his name. Although Dodgson'srule is one of the most well-studied votingrules, it suffers from serious deciencies, both from the computational point of view|it is NP-hard even to approximate the Dodgson score within sublogarithmic factors|and from the social choice point of view|it fails basic social choice desiderata such as monotonicity and homogeneity.
In a previous paper [Caragiannis et al., SODA 2009] we have asked whether there are approximation algorithms for Dodgson'srule that are monotonic or homogeneous. In this paper we give denitive answers to these questions. We design a monotonic exponential-time algorithm that yields a 2-approximation to the Dodgson score, while matching this result with a tight lower bound. We also present a monotonic polynomial-time O(logm)-approximation algorithm (where m is the number of alternatives); this result is tight as well due to a complexity-theoretic lower bound. Furthermore, we show that a slight variation of a known votingrule yields a monotonic, homogeneous, polynomial-time O(mlogm)-approximation algorithm, and establish that it is impossible to achieve a better approximation ratio even if one just asks for homogeneity. We complete the picture by studying several additional social choice properties; for these properties, we prove that algorithms with an approximation ratio that depends only on m do not exist.

Abstract: In 1876 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson suggested the intriguing
votingrule that today bears his name. Although Dodg-
son's rule is one of the most well-studied votingrules, it suf-
fers from serious deciencies, both from the computational
point of view|it is NP-hard even to approximate the Dodg-
son score within sublogarithmic factors|and from the social
choice point of view|it fails basic social choice desiderata
such as monotonicity and homogeneity.
In a previous paper [Caragiannis et al., SODA 2009] we
have asked whether there are approximation algorithms for
Dodgson'srule that are monotonic or homogeneous. In this
paper we give denitive answers to these questions. We de-
sign a monotonic exponential-time algorithm that yields a
2-approximation to the Dodgson score, while matching this
result with a tight lower bound. We also present a monotonic
polynomial-time O(logm)-approximation algorithm (where
m is the number of alternatives); this result is tight as well
due to a complexity-theoretic lower bound. Furthermore,
we show that a slight variation of a known votingrule yields
a monotonic, homogeneous, polynomial-time O(mlogm)-
approximation algorithm, and establish that it is impossible
to achieve a better approximation ratio even if one just asks
for homogeneity. We complete the picture by studying sev-
eral additional social choice properties; for these properties,
we prove that algorithms with an approximation ratio that
depends only on m do not exist.