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Math Social Networks

The Math of Gamification 36

Posted by Soulskill
from the proving-who-you-can-trust dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Foursquare blog has an interesting post about some of the math they use to evaluate and verify the massive amount of user-generated data that enters their database. They need to figure out the likelihood that any given datapoint accurately represents reality, so they've worked out a complicated formula that will minimize abuse. Quoting: 'By choosing the points based on a user's accuracy, we can intelligently accrue certainty about a proposed update and stop the voting process as soon as the math guarantees the required certainty. ... The parameters are automatically trained and can adapt to changes in the behavior of the userbase. No more long meetings debating how many points to grant to a narrow use case. So far, we've taken a very user-centric view of p-sub-k (this is the accuracy of user k). But we can go well beyond that. For example, p-sub-k could be "the accuracy of user k's vote given that they have been to the venue three times before and work nearby." These clauses can be arbitrarily complicated and estimated from a (logistic) regression of the honeypot performance. The point is that these changes will be based on data and not subjective judgments of how many "points" a user or situation should get."
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The Math of Gamification

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  • by tlambert (566799) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:21PM (#45868681)

    How about we just gameify gamification? Then we can quit talking about it, and trying to sell the idea to VCs who, like the rest of us, don't think it's going to work to solve interesting problems, and if it does, well, the people playing the gamefication game will self-solve the problem for us, won't they?

    • How about we just gameify gamification? Then we can quit talking about it, and trying to sell the idea to VCs who, like the rest of us, don't think it's going to work to solve interesting problems, and if it does, well, the people playing the gamefication game will self-solve the problem for us, won't they?

      Gamefication is spicy behaviouralism, applied to life in the same way it has always been applied to life ... with new labels.

      Well, not QUITE the same.

  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:21PM (#45868683)

    If Slashdot did this instead of mod points we could save everybody the heartache of being modded disagree, and then the mod armies could enjoy their retirement. So many duplicate accounts, so little satisfaction.

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Saturday January 04, 2014 @11:21PM (#45868685) Homepage

    So much math, so little gain.

    • by icebike (68054)

      Hey, when people stop using your trendy app, you got to improvise...

      • Stop? When did people start using foursquare? I've never used foursquare and have no desire to, and their gamification seems rather obvious. Is this a last ditch desperate slashvertisement?
        • by sg_oneill (159032)

          I could have sworn there was another company called four square at some point that was , like, some sort of big user directory, back in the stone-age.

  • So it's logistic regression, kinda.
  • Statistically graded meta-moderation w/ gamification for volume pumping. Cool, just cool.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @12:39AM (#45868937) Journal
    So, the math will show where they get "enough" info to continue. Two big problems: audience composition and the stupidity of the crowds. They are assuming the people they have are the people they want, but what they don't understand is that those people don't exist. Their audience is composed of phantoms. Secondly, whatever they get is based on what idiots use their stuff for in the first place. Result? A race to the bottom....
  • by gavron (1300111) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @01:07AM (#45868999)

    Ever since FB stopped listing FS checkins, and the world stopped noticing who checks in where on FS,
    it really means they can arrange their data any way they like.

    Perhaps this is their method of convincing their investors they have some Imaginary Property or something.
    I can't imagine another reason to pretend they have relevance. Like SnapChat, they're a temporary "service"
    that has nothing but temporary eyeballs.

    E

    • Ever since FB stopped listing FS checkins [snip]

      FB still quotes my FS checkins and I've never had a problem with it.

  • let's let math drive the specification process! Because human opinion and behavior is so predictable there must be a wave function for our target market segment. Wait, I have it! BeN+d = oVEr

  • That's all well and good.. but we could do even better by abandoning the whole foursquare concept entirely and just going places for the hell of it. Not everything in life needs to be turned into a badge or achievement. I am surprised that the whole "checking in" concent limped on this long considering its clunkiness and "tacked on" factor.
    • I don't use foursquare myself, but user ratings are useful to avoid bad places. I always use TripAdvisor to check out hotels etc when going on holiday and it's easy to distinguish which ones have generally happy customers.

      Honest reviews are the best way of punishing bad service and rewarding good service (certainly more effective than tipping).
  • There's some meat hangin on this Gamification bone? One example might be the profits from a lack of government regulations on businesses in a particular industry. The gaming of investing in industries that have fewer laws for the purpose of creating investment bubbles. I'd bet on it.
  • Okay, so they used supervised machine learning techniques and depending on the "features" of the user entry decide the accuracy.
    Good for them!

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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