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Scientific Community Game Karl Lieberherr 4/29/20151SCG

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SCG Structure Virtual scientists competing/collaborating for reputation Problem domain with niches (niche = subset of problems) 2 player game Alice (Bob): I am better than Bob (Alice) at solving problems in niche N Let’s play! 4/29/20152SCG

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Purpose of SCG Improve problem solving capabilities of teams for solving CS/Math problems in a given domain. Level of abstraction – Algorithm design (solving problems means coming up with algorithms and their analyses) – Software development (solving problems means providing reliable software implementing the algorithms) Model scientific communities 4/29/20153SCG

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How to influence creativity Overall guidance: follow rules of a scientific community Space of defining reputation gain Information release – influences who participates Show that game is sound: winning is only possible with strong problem solving and prediction techniques. Otherwise people try to cheat. 4/29/20154SCG

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Example: Stress Testing You have a ladder with n rungs, and you want to find the highest rung from which you can drop a copy of the jar and not have it break. We call this the highest safe rung. You have k=2 jars available to break to determine the highest safe rung. How many experiments do you need? Minimize. 4/29/20155SCG

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niche (n,k) = niche (25,2) Alice and Bob think of a secret highest rung and share it with Nina (the administrator). I.e., Alice and Bob prepare “hard” problems for each other. First Alice asks a sequence of questions to Bob. Answers: – (1,no) (2,no) (3,no) (4,no) (5,no) (6,no) (7,no) (8,no) (9,yes) (9 questions) Now Bob asks a sequence of questions to Alice. Answers: – (7,no) (14,no) (21,no) (22,no (23,yes) (5 questions) Nina checks answers. Bob wins because he needed fewer questions. Bob wins reputation from Alice. 4/29/20156SCG

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Second level: Stress Testing cont. The virtual scientists must make a prediction. E.g., Bob claims that for any problem in niche (25,2), he only needs 8 questions to determine the highest safe rung. But Alice gives Bob a problem for which he needs 9 questions to find the highest safe rung, clearly contradicting Bob’s prediction. Alice wins reputation from Bob. 4/29/20157SCG

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Second level: Stress Testing (continued) Bob claims that for any problem in niche (25,2), he needs at most 16 questions to determine the highest safe rung. Alice claims that for any problem in niche (25,2), she needs at most 14 questions to determine the highest safe rung. Both can solve problems from the opponent within the stated limit. But Alice is the better virtual scientist because she made a tighter prediction. Alice wins reputation from Bob. 4/29/20158SCG

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Summary Stress Testing Example Alice wins reputation from Bob if – [better problem solver] she solves Bob’s problems better than Bob solves her problems – [points to problem in Bob’s prediction] she gives a problem to Bob so that Bob’s solution contradicts his own prediction – [better predictor] she makes a stronger prediction than Bob and she supports her own prediction with the problems from Bob 4/29/20159SCG

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Comparison to Real Scientific Community SCG: Virtual Scientific Comm. reputation gain – better problem solver – demonstrate problem with claim – strengthen claims Real Scientific Community reputation gain – better problem solver – demonstrate problem with claims of other scientists – strengthen claims of other scientists 4/29/2015SCG10

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Problem Kinds we want to solve better Decision: Given p, exists J: pred(p,J) Optimization: Given p, find best J: obj(p,J) is max Translation: Provide translator T, so that for p: pred(p,T(p)) 4/29/201511SCG

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Dimensions (continued) Direct/Indirect – Game is played by humans (direct) – Game is played by software agents written by humans Formal/Informal – The communication language is defined by a grammar (formal) English, maybe stylized (informal) Symmetric/Asymmetric 4/29/201512SCG

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Dimensions (continued) Hypotheses are algorithmic predictions. To check predictions, need – execution history of algorithm algorithm needs to be submitted to admin. – result of algorithm 4/29/201513SCG

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symmetric scientists propose and oppose hypotheses to each other unsuccessful opposition gains reputation for proposer strengthening gains reputation for strengthener asymmetric Scientists are forced to oppose. Chief scientist proposes the same? 4/29/2015SCG14 hypotheses frozen before problems are provided

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Hypothesis (niche, prediction) prediction is a function of the niche. Example: niche (n,2). prediction: log(n). 4/29/2015SCG15

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SCG symmetric propose: wide choice oppose: optional – discount – strengthen provide solve asymmetric propose: niche of hypothesis is given, but not prediction. No choice for niche. oppose: compulsory – discount: cannot live up to prediction – strengthen: if can live up to prediction, but stronger prediction. provide solve 4/29/2015SCG16

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Crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing without SCG 1.Company broadcasts problem online 2.Online “crowd” submits solutions 3.Crowd vets solutions 4.Company rewards winning solvers 5.Company owns winning solutions and profits Crowdsourcing with SCG 1.Company submits problem definition to SCG server 2.Online “crowd” submits solutions as SCG agents. 3.SCG tournaments vet solutions 4.Company rewards winning solvers 5.Company owns winning agents and profits 4/29/2015SCG17 Winning criteria are checkable

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