Debiasing Crowdsourced Quantitative Characteristics in Local Businesses and Services [Conference Paper]

NESL Technical Report #: 2015-3-1


Abstract: Information about quantitative characteristics in local businesses and services, such as the number of people waiting in line in a cafe and the number of available fitness machines in a gym, is important for informed decision, crowd management and event detection. In this paper, we investigate the potential of leveraging crowds as sensors to report such quantitative characteristics and investigate how to recover the true quantity values from noisy crowdsourced information. Through experiments, we find that crowd sensors have both bias and variance in quantity sensing, and task difficulties impact the sensing accuracy. Based on these findings, we propose an unsupervised probabilistic model to jointly assess task difficulties, ability of crowd sensors and true quantity values. Our model differs from existing categorical truth finding models as ours is specifically designed to tackle quantitative truth. In addition to devising an efficient model inference algorithm in a batch mode, we also design an even faster online version for handling streaming data. Experimental results in various scenarios demonstrate the effectiveness of our model.

Publication Forum: ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN)

Page (Count): 12

Date: 2015-04-01

Publisher: ACM/IEEE

Public Document?: Yes

NESL Document?: Yes

Document category: Conference Paper

Primary Research Area: Mobile Phone based Sensing