UDiscoverIt, a project of the Institute for Computational Sustainability (ICS), seeks to accelerate scientific discovery by leveraging human intuition within processes of data analysis, inference, and data collection. We are integrating tools such as human computation, crowdsourcing and citizen science into computer algorithms.
- Crowdsourcing is a method of managing a workload that involves outsourcing small tasks to a pool of workers. Typically workers are not expected to be experts, and assignments can be made interchangeably. Tasks can be of any kind, whether open-ended actions that are often completed by people, or explicitly defined work that resemble computer programs. Each task is usually perfomed by multiple workers, with the results combined to ensure quality.
- Human computation
- Steps in a computer algorithm are performed by humans. These tasks must have explicitly defined inputs, outputs and instructions, just like they would if performed by a computer. Many tasks that are not feasible to be solved by a computer can be solved more easily by people, or are easier to explain to a human than encode for a computer.
- Citizen science
- Members of the public contribute to the scientific process, through tasks such as data collection or analysis. While participation typically requires some familiarity with the research area, citizen scientists are not usually expected to be professionals or experts.
We are integrating these concepts into different research applications.