Reply & Supply: Efficient crowdsourcing when workers do more than answer questions
PLoS ONE, 12, , 2017
Abstract: Crowdsourcing works by distributing many small tasks to large numbers of workers, yet the true potential of crowdsourcing lies in workers doing more than performing simple tasks—they can apply their experience and creativity to provide new and unexpected information to the crowdsourcer. One such case is when workers not only answer a crowdsourcer’s questions but also contribute new questions for subsequent crowd analysis, leading to a growing set of questions. This growth creates an inherent bias for early questions since a question introduced earlier by a worker can be answered by more subsequent workers than a question introduced later. Here we study how to perform efficient crowdsourcing with such growing question sets. By modeling question sets as networks of interrelated questions, we introduce algorithms to help curtail the growth bias by efficiently distributing workers between exploring new questions and addressing current questions. Experiments and simulations demonstrate that these algorithms can efficiently explore an unbounded set of questions without losing confidence in crowd answers.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).