Ho, Chien-Ju, Frongillo, Rafael, Chen, Yiling

Models for collecting and aggregating categorical data on crowdsourcing platforms typically fall into two broad categories: those assuming agents honest and consistent but with heterogeneous error rates, and those assuming agents strategic and seek to maximize their expected reward. The former often leads to tractable aggregation of elicited data, while the latter usually focuses on optimal elicitation and does not consider aggregation. In this paper, we develop a Bayesian model, wherein agents have differing quality of information, but also respond to incentives. Our model generalizes both categories and enables the joint exploration of optimal elicitation and aggregation. This model enables our exploration, both analytically and experimentally, of optimal aggregation of categorical data and optimal multiple-choice interface design.

Gao, Chao, Lu, Yu, Zhou, Dengyong

In many machine learning applications, crowdsourcing has become the primary means for label collection. In this paper, we study the optimal error rate for aggregating labels provided by a set of non-expert workers. Under the classic Dawid-Skene model, we establish matching upper and lower bounds with an exact exponent $mI(\pi)$ in which $m$ is the number of workers and $I(\pi)$ the average Chernoff information that characterizes the workers' collective ability. Such an exact characterization of the error exponent allows us to state a precise sample size requirement $m>\frac{1}{I(\pi)}\log\frac{1}{\epsilon}$ in order to achieve an $\epsilon$ misclassification error. In addition, our results imply the optimality of various EM algorithms for crowdsourcing initialized by consistent estimators.

Venanzi, Matteo, Guiver, John, Kohli, Pushmeet, Jennings, Nicholas R.

Many aspects of the design of efficient crowdsourcing processes, such as defining workers bonuses, fair prices and time limits of the tasks, involve knowledge of the likely duration of the task at hand. In this work we introduce a new timesensitive Bayesian aggregation method that simultaneously estimates a tasks duration and obtains reliable aggregations of crowdsourced judgments. Our method, called BCCTime, uses latent variables to represent the uncertainty about the workers completion time, the tasks duration and the workers accuracy. To relate the quality of a judgment to the time a worker spends on a task, our model assumes that each task is completed within a latent time window within which all workers with a propensity to genuinely attempt the labelling task (i.e., no spammers) are expected to submit their judgments. In contrast, workers with a lower propensity to valid labelling, such as spammers, bots or lazy labellers, are assumed to perform tasks considerably faster or slower than the time required by normal workers. Specifically, we use efficient message-passing Bayesian inference to learn approximate posterior probabilities of (i) the confusion matrix of each worker, (ii) the propensity to valid labelling of each worker, (iii) the unbiased duration of each task and (iv) the true label of each task. Using two real- world public datasets for entity linking tasks, we show that BCCTime produces up to 11% more accurate classifications and up to 100% more informative estimates of a tasks duration compared to stateoftheart methods.

Drone images accumulate much faster than they can be analyzed. Researchers have developed a new approach that combines crowdsourcing and machine learning to speed up the process. Who would win in a real-life game of "Where's Waldo," humans or computers? A recent study suggests that when speed and accuracy are critical, an approach combing both human and machine intelligence would take the prize. With drones being used to monitor everything natural disaster sites, pollution, or wildlife populations, analyzing drone images in real-time has become a critically important big data challenge.

Wauthier, Fabian L., Jordan, Michael I.

Biased labelers are a systemic problem in crowdsourcing, and a comprehensive toolbox for handling their responses is still being developed. A typical crowdsourcing application can be divided into three steps: data collection, data curation, and learning. At present these steps are often treated separately. We present Bayesian Bias Mitigation for Crowdsourcing (BBMC), a Bayesian model to unify all three. Most data curation methods account for the {\it effects} of labeler bias by modeling all labels as coming from a single latent truth. Our model captures the {\it sources} of bias by describing labelers as influenced by shared random effects. This approach can account for more complex bias patterns that arise in ambiguous or hard labeling tasks and allows us to merge data curation and learning into a single computation. Active learning integrates data collection with learning, but is commonly considered infeasible with Gibbs sampling inference. We propose a general approximation strategy for Markov chains to efficiently quantify the effect of a perturbation on the stationary distribution and specialize this approach to active learning. Experiments show BBMC to outperform many common heuristics.