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Volunteers' Engagement in Human Computation Astronomy Projects
PrePrint
ISSN: 1521-9615
Lesandro Ponciano, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Campina Grande
Francisco Brasileiro, Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Campina Grande
Robert Simpson, University of Oxford, Oxford
Arfon Smith, Adler Planetarium, Chicago
Human computation is a computing approach that allows humans to perform tasks for which there is still no satisfactory solution even when today's most sophisticated computing infrastructures are used. One stream of human computation is "volunteer thinking'', those systems that gather volunteers willing to contribute by executing human computation tasks in citizen-science systems. In this paper, we report the findings of a volunteers' engagement characterization study in two astronomy projects: Galaxy Zoo and The Milky Way Project. Approximately 10 million tasks executed by 100 thousand volunteers over a near 2-year time period form the basis of the study. Our results show a diversity of engagement patterns in terms of frequency, daily productivity, duration of typical contribution session, and the amount of time devoted to the project. We discuss the implications of such patterns and offer suggestions to researchers who are seeking to take advantage of such computing approach.
Citation:
Lesandro Ponciano, Francisco Brasileiro, Robert Simpson, Arfon Smith, "Volunteers' Engagement in Human Computation Astronomy Projects," Computing in Science and Engineering, 04 Feb. 2014. IEEE computer Society Digital Library. IEEE Computer Society, <http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCSE.2014.4>
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