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.
We consider the forecast aggregation problem in repeated settings, where the forecasts are done on a binary event. At each period multiple experts provide forecasts about an event. The goal of the aggregator is to aggregate those forecasts into a subjective accurate forecast. We assume that experts are Bayesian; namely they share a common prior, each expert is exposed to some evidence, and each expert applies Bayes rule to deduce his forecast. The aggregator is ignorant with respect to the information structure (i.e., distribution over evidence) according to which experts make their prediction. The aggregator observes the experts' forecasts only. At the end of each period the actual state is realized. We focus on the question whether the aggregator can learn to aggregate optimally the forecasts of the experts, where the optimal aggregation is the Bayesian aggregation that takes into account all the information (evidence) in the system. We consider the class of partial evidence information structures, where each expert is exposed to a different subset of conditionally independent signals. Our main results are positive; We show that optimal aggregation can be learned in polynomial time in a quite wide range of instances of the partial evidence environments. We provide a tight characterization of the instances where learning is possible and impossible.
We address the problem of aggregating an ensemble of predictors with known loss bounds in a semi-supervised binary classification setting, to minimize prediction loss incurred on the unlabeled data. We find the minimax optimal predictions for a very general class of loss functions including all convex and many non-convex losses, extending a recent analysis of the problem for misclassification error. The result is a family of semi-supervised ensemble aggregation algorithms which are as efficient as linear learning by convex optimization, but are minimax optimal without any relaxations. Their decision rules take a form familiar in decision theory -- applying sigmoid functions to a notion of ensemble margin -- without the assumptions typically made in margin-based learning. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.
We introduce a new recursive aggregation procedure called Bernstein Online Aggregation (BOA). The exponential weights include an accuracy term and a second order term that is a proxy of the quadratic variation as in Hazan and Kale (2010). This second term stabilizes the procedure that is optimal in different senses. We first obtain optimal regret bounds in the deterministic context. Then, an adaptive version is the first exponential weights algorithm that exhibits a second order bound with excess losses that appears first in Gaillard et al. (2014). The second order bounds in the deterministic context are extended to a general stochastic context using the cumulative predictive risk. Such conversion provides the main result of the paper, an inequality of a novel type comparing the procedure with any deterministic aggregation procedure for an integrated criteria. Then we obtain an observable estimate of the excess of risk of the BOA procedure. To assert the optimality, we consider finally the iid case for strongly convex and Lipschitz continuous losses and we prove that the optimal rate of aggregation of Tsybakov (2003) is achieved. The batch version of the BOA procedure is then the first adaptive explicit algorithm that satisfies an optimal oracle inequality with high probability.
An inconsistent knowledge base can be abstracted as a set of arguments and a defeat relation among them. There can be more than one consistent way to evaluate such an argumentation graph. Collective argument evaluation is the problem of aggregating the opinions of multiple agents on how a given set of arguments should be evaluated. It is crucial not only to ensure that the outcome is logically consistent, but also satisfies measures of social optimality and immunity to strategic manipulation. This is because agents have their individual preferences about what the outcome ought to be. In the current paper, we analyze three previously introduced argument-based aggregation operators with respect to Pareto optimality and strategy proofness under different general classes of agent preferences. We highlight fundamental trade-offs between strategic manipulability and social optimality on one hand, and classical logical criteria on the other. Our results motivate further investigation into the relationship between social choice and argumentation theory. The results are also relevant for choosing an appropriate aggregation operator given the criteria that are considered more important, as well as the nature of agents' preferences.