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Math Social Networks

The Math of Gamification 36

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 Sunday January 05, 2014 @12:21AM (#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?

  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Sunday January 05, 2014 @01:39AM (#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 @02:07AM (#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.


Mathematicians practice absolute freedom. -- Henry Adams