A Collaborative Mechanism for Crowdsourcing Prediction Problems

author: Jacob Abernethy, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley
published: Jan. 25, 2012,   recorded: December 2011,   views: 7780


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Machine Learning competitions such as the Netflix Prize have proven reasonably successful as a method of “crowdsourcing” prediction tasks. But these competitions have a number of weaknesses, particularly in the incentive structure they create for the participants. We propose a new approach, called a Crowdsourced Learning Mechanism, in which participants collaboratively “learn” a hypothesis for a given prediction task. The approach draws heavily from the concept of a prediction market, where traders bet on the likelihood of a future event. In our framework, the mechanism continues to publish the current hypothesis, and participants can modify this hypothesis by wagering on an update. The critical incentive property is that a participant will profit an amount that scales according to how much her update improves performance on a released test set.

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