In the Beginning There Were n Agents: Founding and Amending a Constitution

Ben Abramowitz, Ehud Shapiro, Nimrod Talmon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Consider n agents forming an egalitarian, self-governed community. Their first task is to decide on a decision rule to make further decisions. We start from a rather general initial agreement on the decision-making process based upon a set of intuitive and self-evident axioms, as well as simplifying assumptions about the preferences of the agents. From these humble beginnings we derive a decision rule. Crucially, the decision rule also specifies how it can be changed, or amended, and thus acts as a de facto constitution. Our main contribution is in providing an example of an initial agreement that is simple and intuitive, and a constitution that logically follows from it. The naive agreement is on the basic process of decision making – that agents approve or disapprove proposals; that their vote determines either the acceptance or rejection of each proposal; and on the axioms, which are requirements regarding a constitution that engenders a self-updating decision making process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgorithmic Decision Theory - 7th International Conference, ADT 2021, Proceedings
EditorsDimitris Fotakis, David Ríos Insua
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030877552
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Event7th International Conference on Algorithmic Decision Theory, ADT 2021 - Toulouse, France
Duration: 3 Nov 20215 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume13023 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference7th International Conference on Algorithmic Decision Theory, ADT 2021


  • Constitutions
  • Democracy
  • Self-governance
  • Voting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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