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Crowdsourcing and All-Pay Auctions Milan Vojnović Microsoft Research Joint work with Dominic DiPalantino UC Berkeley, July 13, 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Crowdsourcing and All-Pay Auctions Milan Vojnović Microsoft Research Joint work with Dominic DiPalantino UC Berkeley, July 13, 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Crowdsourcing and All-Pay Auctions Milan Vojnović Microsoft Research Joint work with Dominic DiPalantino UC Berkeley, July 13, 2009

2 Examples of Crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing = soliciting solutions via open calls to large-scale communities – Coined in a Wired article (06) Taskcn – 530,000 solutions posted for 3,100 tasks Innocentive – Over $3 million awarded Odesk – Over $43 million brokered Amazons Mechanical Turk – Over 23,000 tasks 2

3 Examples of Crowdsourcing (contd) Yahoo! Answers – Lunched Dec 05 – 60M users / 65M answers (as of Dec 06) Live QnA – Lunched Aug 06 / closed May 09 – 3M questions / 750M answers Wikipedia 3

4 Incentives for Contribution Incentives – Monetary $$$ – Non-momentary Social gratification and publicity Reputation points Certificates and levels Incentives for both participation and quality 4

5 Incentives for Contribution (contd) Ex. Taskcn 5 Reward range (RMB) Contest duration Number of submissions Number of registrants Number of views 100 RMB $15 (July 09)

6 Incentives for Contribution (contd) Ex. Yahoo! Answers 6 Points Levels Source:

7 Questions of Interest Understanding of the incentive schemes – How do contributions relate to offered rewards? Design of contests – How do we best design contests? – How do we set rewards? – How do we best suggest contests to players and rewards to contest providers? 7

8 Strategic User Behavior From empirical analysis of Taskcn by Yang et al (ACM EC 08) – (i) users respond to incentives, (ii) users learn better strategies – Suggests a game-theoretic analysis 8 User Strategies on Taskcn.com

9 Outline Model of Competing Contests Equilibrium Analysis – Player-Specific Skills – Contest-Specific Skills Design of Contests Experimental Validation Conclusion 9

10 Single Contest Competition 10 c1c1 c2c2 c3c3 c4c4 R c i = cost per unit effort or quality produced contest offering reward R players

11 Single Contest Competition (contd) 11 Outcome -c1b1 -c1b1 R - c 2 b 2 -c 3 b 3 -c 4 b 4 c1c1 c2c2 c3c3 c4c4 b1b1 b2b2 b3b3 b4b4 R

12 All-Pay Auction 12 Outcome -b1 -b1 v 2 - b 2 -b 3 -b 4 v1v1 v2v2 v3v3 v4v4 b1b1 b2b2 b3b3 b4b4 Everyone pays their bid

13 Competing Contests 13 R1R1 R2R2 RJRJ... RjRj contestsusers 1 2 u N...

14 Incomplete Information Assumption Each user u knows = total number of users = his own skill = skills are randomly drawn from F 14 We assume F is an atomless distribution with finite support [0,m]

15 Assumptions on User Skill 1) Player-specific skill random i.i.d. across u (ex. contests require similar skills or skill determined by players opportunity cost) 2) Contest-specific skill random i.i.d. across u and j (ex. contests require diverse skills) 15

16 Bayes-Nash Equilibrium Mixed strategy Equilibrium Select contest of highest expected profit where expectation with respect to beliefs about other user skills = prob. of selecting a contest of class j = bid 16 Contest class = set of contests that offer same reward

17 User Expected Profit Expected profit for a contest of class j = prob. of selecting a contest of class j = distribution of user skill conditional on having selected contest class j 17

18 Outline Model of Competing Contests Equilibrium Analysis – Player-Specific Skills – Contest-Specific Skills Design of Contests Experimental Validation Conclusion 18

19 Equilibrium Contest Selection m v2v2 v3v3 v4v skill levels contest classes 19

20 Threshold Reward Only K highest-reward contest classes selected with strictly positive probability 20 = number of contests of class k

21 Partitioning over Skill Levels User of skill v is of skill level l if where 21

22 Contest Selection User of skill l, i.e. with skill selects a contest of class j with probability 22

23 Participation Rates A contest of class j selected with probability 23 Prior-free – independent of the distribution F

24 Large-System Limit For positive constants where K is a finite number of contest classes 24

25 Skill Levels for Large System User of skill v is of skill level l if where 25

26 Participation Rates for Large System Expected number of participants for a contest of class j 26 Prior-free – independent of the distribution F

27 Contest Selection in Large System User of skill l, i.e. with skill selects a contest of class j with probability m /3 27 For large systems, what matters is which contests are selected for given skill

28 Proof Hint for Player-Specific Skills 28 Key property – equilibrium expected payoffs as showed v m0v1v1 v2v2 v3v3 g 1 (v) g 2 (v) g 3 (v) g 4 (v)

29 Outline Model of Competing Contests Equilibrium Analysis – Player-Specific Skills – Contest-Specific Skills Design of Contests Experimental Validation Conclusion 29

30 Contest-specific Skills Results established only for large-system limit Same equilibrium relationship between participation and rewards as for player- specific skills 30

31 Proof Hints Limit expected payoff – For each Balancing – Whenever Asserted relations for follow from above 31

32 Outline Model of Competing Contests Equilibrium Analysis – Player-Specific Skills – Contest-Specific Skills Design of Contests Experimental Validation Conclusion 32

33 System Optimum Rewards 33 maximise over subject to SYSTEM Set the rewards so as to optimize system welfare

34 Example 1: zero costs (non monetary rewards) 34 Assume are increasing strictly concave functions. Under player-specific skills, system optimum rewards: for any c > 0 where is unique solution of Rewards unique up to a multiplicative constant – only relative setting of rewards matters

35 Example 1 (contd) 35 For large systems Assume are increasing strictly concave functions. Under player-specific skills, system optimum rewards: for any c > 0 where is unique solution of

36 Example 2: optimum effort 36 Consider SYSTEM with exerted effort { cost of giving R j (budget constraint) { prob. contest attended { Utility: Cost:

37 Outline Model of Competing Contests Equilibrium Analysis – Player-Specific Skills – Contest-Specific Skills Design of Contests Experimental Validation Conclusion 37

38 Taskcn Analysis of rewards and participation across tasks as observed on Taskcn – Tasks of diverse categories: graphics, characters, miscellaneous, super challenge – We considered tasks posted in

39 Taskcn (contd) 39 reward number of views number of registrants number of submissions

40 Submissions vs. Reward Diminishing increase of submissions with reward 40 GraphicsCharactersMiscellaneous linear regression

41 Submissions vs. Reward for Subcategory Logos Conditioning on the more experienced users, the better the prediction by the model 41 any rate once a monthevery fourth dayevery second day Conditional on the rate at which users submit solutions model

42 Same for the Subcategory 2-D 42 any rate once a monthevery fourth dayevery second day model

43 Conclusion Crowdsourcing as a system of competing contests Equilibrium analysis of competing contests – Explicit relationship between rewards and participations Prior-free – Diminishing increase of participation with reward Suggested by the model and data Framework for design of crowdsourcing / contests Base results for strategic modelling – Ex. strategic contest providers 43

44 More Information Paper: ACM EC 09 Version with proofs: MSR-TR – aspx?id= aspx?id=


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