AAAI Publications, Third AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing

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From "In" to "Over": Behavioral Experiments on Whole-Network Computation
Lili Dworkin, Michael Kearns

Last modified: 2015-09-23


We report on a series of behavioral experiments in human computation on three different tasks over networks: graph coloring, community detection (or graph clustering), and competitive contagion. While these tasks share similar action spaces and interfaces, they capture a diversity of computational challenges: graph coloring is a search problem, clustering is an optimization problem, and competitive contagion is a game-theoretic problem. In contrast with most of the prior literature on human-subject experiments in networks, in which collectives of subjects are embedded "in" the network, and have only local information and interactions, here individual subjects have a global (or "over") view and must solve "whole network" problems alone. Our primary findings are that subject performance is impressive across all three problem types; that subjects find diverse and novel strategies for solving each task; and that collective performance can often be strongly correlated with known algorithms.

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