Over 240 Spanish municipalities had a go at participatory budgeting in 2004, and it is estimated that by 2010 citizens will be helping to decide how to allocate 10% of the municipal budget. Until now, though, these participatory budgeting experiences have been carried through without the software to gather citizens’ opinions in real time and then clearly display their preferences as charts on politicians’ computers.
Organizing opinion via the Internet
The School of Computing’s research group, composed of computer scientists, mathematicians and statisticians, has developed this methodology using new technologies, particularly the Internet, as support for organizing and optimizing citizen participation. The methodology is now two-thirds complete and could be applied on the scale of either a municipality or a whole country.
The aim of this methodology is to add citizens’ preferences to political decision-making processes. This it does by establishing a number of questions that citizens answer over the Internet. Duly converted to statistical values, these responses indicate citizens’ opinions on the decision to be taken by politicians in the shape of a chart. A code system prevents people not on the electoral roll from participating.
The methodology represents participants’ beliefs and preferences, evaluating the different budget alternatives based on Dempster and Shafer’s evidential reasoning and ranking the alternatives using a notion of distance from maximum and minimum utility.
Participatory budgeting is shifting the idea of democracy from representation, where citizens’ preferences are taken into account at election time only, to direct participation and discussion. This is an attempt at giving citizens a say in the decision on how to spend part of their municipality’s budget.
The Decision Analysis and Statistics Research Group has collaborated and is now actively participating in several research projects focusing on the development of software tools targeting e-democracy and, especially, participatory budgeting.
They include TED: Towards Electronic Democracy, funded by the European Science Foundation (2003/06); eDemocracia: Apoyo a la Toma de Decisiones Complejas Basadas en Internet (e-Democracy: Internet-based Complex Decision-Making Support), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (2004/07); Conceptos y Sistemas de Apoyo a la Democracia Electrónica (Electronic Democracy Concepts and Support Systems), funded through Madrid Regional Government’s IV PRICIT (2006/09); and Toma de Decisiones en Grupo con Imprecisión (Imprecise Group Decision Making), funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (2008/2011).
Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex
UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine