Variational inference for crowdsourcing

Qiang Liu, Jian Peng, Alexander Ihler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Crowdsourcing has become a popular paradigm for labeling large datasets. However, it has given rise to the computational task of aggregating the crowdsourced labels provided by a collection of unreliable annotators. We approach this problem by transforming it into a standard inference problem in graphical models, and applying approximate variational methods, including belief propagation (BP) and mean field (MF). We show that our BP algorithm generalizes both majority voting and a recent algorithm by Karger et al. [1], while our MF method is closely related to a commonly used EM algorithm. In both cases, we find that the performance of the algorithms critically depends on the choice of a prior distribution on the workers' reliability; by choosing the prior properly, both BP and MF (and EM) perform surprisingly well on both simulated and real-world datasets, competitive with state-of-the-art algorithms based on more complicated modeling assumptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25
Subtitle of host publication26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2012, NIPS 2012
Pages692-700
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2012, NIPS 2012 - Lake Tahoe, NV, United States
Duration: Dec 3 2012Dec 6 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1049-5258

Other

Other26th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems 2012, NIPS 2012
CountryUnited States
CityLake Tahoe, NV
Period12/3/1212/6/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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