CS professors Kurt Luther and Chris North were recently awarded an NSF grant for a project titled “Supporting Crowdsourced Sensemaking in Big Data with Dynamic Context Slices”. Dr. Luther, is principal investigator and Dr. North is co-principal investigator. Kurt Luther is assistant professor in computer science and Chris North is associate director for the Discovery Analytics Center. The three year $500,000 grant will start on October 1, 2016 and go until September 30, 2018. Read the full abstract below or click here:
This research will investigate how crowdsourcing and computational techniques can be combined to support the efforts of an individual analyst engaged in a complex sensemaking task, such as identifying a threat to national security or determining the names of people and places in a photograph. Currently, such complex tasks are beyond the capabilities of the most advanced machine learning techniques or crowdsourcing workflows, and even trained experts struggle to perform them. Huge quantities of data are now available online, but making sense of them is challenging because human cognition, while remarkably powerful, is nevertheless a limited resource. We will experiment with different crowd workflows to develop a revised sensemaking loop, optimized for the relative strengths of crowds and computation, and develop a software prototype based on this approach. At the core of the software design is the novel concept of “context slices,” an innovative technique for addressing the transience of crowd workers by giving them only the information they need to complete their assigned task, allowing complex investigations to be pursued across multiple workers.