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Dynamic Task Allocation for Crowdsourcing Settings

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We consider the problem of optimal budget allocation for crowdsourcing problems, allocating users to tasks to maximize our final confidence in the crowdsourced answers. Such an optimized worker assignment method allows us to boost the efficacy of any popular crowdsourcing estimation algorithm. We consider a mutual information interpretation of the crowdsourcing problem, which leads to a stochastic subset selection problem with a submodular objective function. We present experimental simulation results which demonstrate the effectiveness of our dynamic task allocation method for achieving higher accuracy, possibly requiring fewer labels, as well as improving upon a previous method which is sensitive to the proportion of users to questions.


Deep Learning from Crowds

AAAI Conferences

Over the last few years, deep learning has revolutionized the field of machine learning by dramatically improving the state-of-the-art in various domains. However, as the size of supervised artificial neural networks grows, typically so does the need for larger labeled datasets. Recently, crowdsourcing has established itself as an efficient and cost-effective solution for labeling large sets of data in a scalable manner, but it often requires aggregating labels from multiple noisy contributors with different levels of expertise. In this paper, we address the problem of learning deep neural networks from crowds. We begin by describing an EM algorithm for jointly learning the parameters of the network and the reliabilities of the annotators. Then, a novel general-purpose crowd layer is proposed, which allows us to train deep neural networks end-to-end, directly from the noisy labels of multiple annotators, using only backpropagation. We empirically show that the proposed approach is able to internally capture the reliability and biases of different annotators and achieve new state-of-the-art results for various crowdsourced datasets across different settings, namely classification, regression and sequence labeling.


Error Rate Bounds in Crowdsourcing Models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Crowdsourcing is an effective tool for human-powered computation on many tasks challenging for computers. In this paper, we provide finite-sample exponential bounds on the error rate (in probability and in expectation) of hyperplane binary labeling rules under the Dawid-Skene crowdsourcing model. The bounds can be applied to analyze many common prediction methods, including the majority voting and weighted majority voting. These bound results could be useful for controlling the error rate and designing better algorithms. We show that the oracle Maximum A Posterior (MAP) rule approximately optimizes our upper bound on the mean error rate for any hyperplane binary labeling rule, and propose a simple data-driven weighted majority voting (WMV) rule (called one-step WMV) that attempts to approximate the oracle MAP and has a provable theoretical guarantee on the error rate. Moreover, we use simulated and real data to demonstrate that the data-driven EM-MAP rule is a good approximation to the oracle MAP rule, and to demonstrate that the mean error rate of the data-driven EM-MAP rule is also bounded by the mean error rate bound of the oracle MAP rule with estimated parameters plugging into the bound.


Error Rate Bounds and Iterative Weighted Majority Voting for Crowdsourcing

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Crowdsourcing has become an effective and popular tool for human-powered computation to label large datasets. Since the workers can be unreliable, it is common in crowdsourcing to assign multiple workers to one task, and to aggregate the labels in order to obtain results of high quality. In this paper, we provide finite-sample exponential bounds on the error rate (in probability and in expectation) of general aggregation rules under the Dawid-Skene crowdsourcing model. The bounds are derived for multi-class labeling, and can be used to analyze many aggregation methods, including majority voting, weighted majority voting and the oracle Maximum A Posteriori (MAP) rule. We show that the oracle MAP rule approximately optimizes our upper bound on the mean error rate of weighted majority voting in certain setting. We propose an iterative weighted majority voting (IWMV) method that optimizes the error rate bound and approximates the oracle MAP rule. Its one step version has a provable theoretical guarantee on the error rate. The IWMV method is intuitive and computationally simple. Experimental results on simulated and real data show that IWMV performs at least on par with the state-of-the-art methods, and it has a much lower computational cost (around one hundred times faster) than the state-of-the-art methods.


Spectral Methods meet EM: A Provably Optimal Algorithm for Crowdsourcing

Neural Information Processing Systems

The Dawid-Skene estimator has been widely used for inferring the true labels from the noisy labels provided by non-expert crowdsourcing workers. However, since the estimator maximizes a non-convex log-likelihood function, it is hard to theoretically justify its performance. In this paper, we propose a two-stage efficient algorithm for multi-class crowd labeling problems. The first stage uses the spectral method to obtain an initial estimate of parameters. Then the second stage refines the estimation by optimizing the objective function of the Dawid-Skene estimator via the EM algorithm. We show that our algorithm achieves the optimal convergence rate up to a logarithmic factor. We conduct extensive experiments on synthetic and real datasets. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is comparable to the most accurate empirical approach, while outperforming several other recently proposed methods.