Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
A pressing need for efficient personalized recommendations has emerged in crowdsourcing systems. On the one hand, workers confront a flood of tasks, and they often spend too much time to find tasks matching their skills and interests. Thus, workers want effective recommendation of the most suitable tasks with regard to their skills and preferences. On the other hand, requesters sometimes receive results in low-quality completion since a less qualified worker may start working on a task before a better-skilled worker may get hands on. Thus, requesters want reliable recommendation of the best workers for their tasks in terms of workers' qualifications and accountability. The task and worker recommendation problems in crowdsourcing systems have brought up unique characteristics that are not present in traditional recommendation scenarios, i.e., the huge flow of tasks with short lifespans, the importance of workers' capabilities, and the quality of the completed tasks. These unique features make traditional recommendation approaches (mostly developed for e-commerce markets) no longer satisfactory for task and worker recommendation in crowdsourcing systems. In this research, we reveal our insight into the essential difference between the tasks in crowdsourcing systems and the products/items in e-commerce markets, and the difference between buyers' interests in products/items and workers' interests in tasks. Our insight inspires us to bring up categories as a key mediation mechanism between workers and tasks. We propose a two-tier data representation scheme (defining a worker-category suitability score and a worker-task attractiveness score) to support personalized task and worker recommendation. We also extend two optimization methods, namely least mean square error (LMS) and Bayesian personalized rank (BPR) in order to better fit the characteristics of task/worker recommendation in crowdsourcing systems. We then integrate the proposed representation scheme and the extended optimization methods along with the two adapted popular learning models, i.e., matrix factorization and kNN, and result in two lines of top-N recommendation algorithms for crowdsourcing systems: (1) Top-N-Tasks (TNT) recommendation algorithms for discovering the top-N most suitable tasks for a given worker, and (2) Top-N-Workers (TNW) recommendation algorithms for identifying the top-N best workers for a task requester. An extensive experimental study is conducted that validates the effectiveness and efficiency of a broad spectrum of algorithms, accompanied by our analysis and the insights gained.
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