Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New methodology to improve participatory democracy

07.11.2008
Researchers from the Decision Analysis and Statistics Group within the Department of Artificial Intelligence at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing have developed a methodology for improving participatory democracy that could be ready for the Spain’s next local elections due to be held in 2011.

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 Democracy

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).

Eduardo Martínez | alfa
Further information:
http://www.fi.upm.es
http://www.fi.upm.es/?pagina=777&idioma=english

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Intelligent maps will help robots navigate in your home
19.06.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

nachricht Football through the eyes of a computer
14.06.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>