AAAI Publications, Fifth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing

Font Size: 
Octopus: A Framework for Cost-Quality-Time Optimization in Crowdsourcing
Karan Goel, Shreya Rajpal, Mausam Mausam

Last modified: 2017-09-21


We present Octopus, an AI agent to jointly balance three conflicting task objectives on a micro-crowdsourcing marketplace – the quality of work, total cost incurred, and time to completion. Previous control agents have mostly focused on cost-quality, or cost-time tradeoffs, but not on directly controlling all three in concert. A naive formulation of three-objective optimization is intractable; Octopus takes a hierarchical POMDP approach, with three different components responsible for setting the pay per task, selecting the next task, and controlling task-level quality. We demonstrate that Octopus significantly outperforms existing state-of-the-art approaches on real experiments. We also deploy Octopus on Amazon Mechanical Turk, showing its ability to manage tasks in a real-world, dynamic setting.


cost-quality-time optimization; hierarchical pomdp; optimization; crowdsourcing; human computation; data collection; dynamic pricing

Full Text: PDF