Chris North


The increasing volume of text data is challenging the cognitive capabilities of expert analysts. Machine learning and crowdsourcing present new opportunities for large-scale sensemaking, but we must overcome the challenge of modeling the overall process so that many distributed agents can contribute to suitable components asynchronously and meaningfully. In this paper, we explore how to crowdsource the sensemaking process via a pipeline of modularized steps connected by clearly defined inputs and outputs. Our pipeline restructures and partitions information into "context slices" for individual workers. We implemented CrowdIA, a software platform to enable unsupervised crowd sensemaking using our pipeline. With CrowdIA, crowds successfully solved two mysteries, and were one step away from solving the third. The crowd's intermediate results revealed their reasoning process and provided evidence that justifies their conclusions. We suggest broader possibilities to optimize each component, as well as to evaluate and refine previous intermediate analyses to improve the final result.


Chris North

Publication Details

Date of publication:
November 1, 2018
Proceedings of the ACM on Human Computer Interaction
Page number(s):
Issue Number:
CSCW, Article No. 105
Publication note:

Tianyi Li, Kurt Luther, Chris North: CrowdIA: Solving Mysteries with Crowdsourced Sensemaking. Proc. ACM Hum. Comput. Interact. 2(CSCW): 105:1-105:29 (2018)