Conference Paper

Wisdom of the crowds: Decentralized knowledge construction in Wikipedia

DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.1025624


Recently, Nature published an article comparing the quality of Wikipedia articles to those of Encyclopedia Britannica (Giles 2005). The article, which gained much public attention, provides evidence for Wikipedia quality, but does not provide an explanation of the underlying source of that quality. Wikipedia, and wikis in general, aggregate information from a large and diverse author-base, where authors are free to modify any article. Building upon Surowiecki's (2005) Wisdom of Crowds, we develop a model of the factors that determine wiki content quality. In an empirical study of Wikipedia, we find strong support for our model. Our results indicate that increasing size and diversity of the author-base improves content quality. We conclude by highlighting implications for system design and suggesting avenues for future research.

Download full-text


Available from: Ofer Arazy, Oct 05, 2015
147 Reads
  • Source
    • "[29] "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MASOES is a 3agent architecture for designing and modeling self-organizing and emergent systems. This architecture describes the elements, relationships, and mechanisms, both at the individual and the collective levels, that favor the analysis of the self-organizing and emergent phenomenon without mathematically modeling the system. In this paper, a method is proposed for verifying MASOES from the point of view of design in order to study the self-organizing and emergent behaviors of the modeled systems. The verification criteria are set according to what is proposed in MASOES for modeling self-organizing and emerging systems and the principles of the wisdom of crowd paradigm and the fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) theory. The verification method for MASOES has been implemented in a tool called FCM Designer and has been tested to model a community of free software developers that works under the bazaar style as well as a Wikipedia community in order to study their behavior and determine their self-organizing and emergent capacities.
    IEEE transactions on systems, man, and cybernetics. Part B, Cybernetics: a publication of the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society 06/2012; 43(1). DOI:10.1109/TSMCB.2012.2199106 · 6.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "This approach is manifested in the development of "age cards" that were made available to interested readers as pages in a wiki. The wiki technology was successful in engaging a community of relevant readers in amending and extending the knowledge items, with Wikipedia as the shining example [13]. As in Wikipedia, readers of the age-phenome Age Cards can add comments, propose new entries and correct or delete existing entries. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Currently, data about age-phenotype associations are not systematically organized and cannot be studied methodically. Searching for scientific articles describing phenotypic changes reported as occurring at a given age is not possible for most ages. Here we present the Age-Phenome Knowledge-base (APK), in which knowledge about age-related phenotypic patterns and events can be modeled and stored for retrieval. The APK contains evidence connecting specific ages or age groups with phenotypes, such as disease and clinical traits. Using a simple text mining tool developed for this purpose, we extracted instances of age-phenotype associations from journal abstracts related to non-insulin-dependent Diabetes Mellitus. In addition, links between age and phenotype were extracted from clinical data obtained from the NHANES III survey. The knowledge stored in the APK is made available for the relevant research community in the form of 'Age-Cards', each card holds the collection of all the information stored in the APK about a particular age. These Age-Cards are presented in a wiki, allowing community review, amendment and contribution of additional information. In addition to the wiki interaction, complex searches can also be conducted which require the user to have some knowledge of database query construction. The combination of a knowledge model based repository with community participation in the evolution and refinement of the knowledge-base makes the APK a useful and valuable environment for collecting and curating existing knowledge of the connections between age and phenotypes.
    BMC Bioinformatics 06/2011; 12(1):229. DOI:10.1186/1471-2105-12-229 · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "To stress this point, the success of mass collaboration projects (and specifi cally wikis and Wikipedia) has been attributed to the " wisdom of the crowds, " that is, to the sheer size and diversity of the user population [1]. In corporate settings, on the other hand, collaborative tools are often used to support relatively small and homogeneous groups. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our research question concerns the usefulness of wikis in corporate settings. The answer to this question is not clear. On one hand, business firms are aware of the impact wikis have had on the Internet, and perceive wikis as an up-and-coming technology for supporting collaborative work. On the other hand, the fundamental principles underlying wikis - openness, non-attribution, egalitarianism, and decentralized control - run in contrast to traditional command-and-control management. To date, little information is available regarding wikis' usage in corporate settings. This paper examines the actual use of wikis in a business setting, to identify factors driving user participation, and to assess the extent to which wikis provide value to both individuals and the organization.
    IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 02/2009; 28(2-28):57 - 64. DOI:10.1109/MTS.2009.932804 · 0.56 Impact Factor
Show more