Time-Critical Social Mobilization

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by Pickard et al., Science Magazine, October 28, 2011

Abstract: The World Wide Web is commonly seen as a platform that can harness the collective abilities of large numbers of people to accomplish tasks with unprecedented speed, accuracy, and scale. To explore the Web’s ability for social mobilization, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) held the DARPA Network Challenge, in which competing teams were asked to locate 10 red weather balloons placed at locations around the continental United States. Using a recursive incentive mechanism that both spread information about the task and incentivized individuals to act, our team was able to find all 10 balloons in less than 9 hours, thus winning the Challenge. We analyzed the theoretical and practical properties of this mechanism and compared it with other approaches. Science Magazine 28 October 2011 (Vol. 334 no. 6055 pp. 509-512; DOI: 10.1126/science.1205869)

For full text of the article, visit: Time-Critical Social Mobilization.

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