The Theory of Crowdsourcing Contests
Dr. Jason Hartline
3:00 pm on Friday
March 1, 2013
Crowdsourcing contests have been popularized by the Netflix challenge and websites like TopCoder and 99designs. What is a crowdsourcing contest? Imagine you are designing a new web service, you have it all coded up, but the site looks bad because you haven't got any graphic design skills. You could hire an artist to design your logo, or you could post the design task as a competition to crowdsourcing website 99designs with a monetary reward of $100. Contestants would then compete to produce the best logo. You then select your favorite logo and award that contestant the $100 prize.
This talk discusses the theory of crowdsourcing contests, including how to model such contests using auction theory, how to solve for contestant strategies, and the inefficiency due to the wasted efforts of non-winning participants. [This is joint work with Shuchi Chawla and Balasubramanian Sivan.]
Jason Hartline is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, with a courtesy appointment in the Kellogg Business School. His current research interests lie at the intersection of computer science, game theory, and economics, where he does fundamental research on the design and analysis of auction mechanisms and pricing algorithms. Before joining Northwestern in 2008, he was a
researcher at Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, had a post-doc at the Aladdin Center at Carnegie Mellon University, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. His bachelor’s degrees are in Computer
Science and Electrical Engineering from Cornell.