Designing Incentives for Online Question and Answer Forums

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Designing Incentives for Online Question and Answer Forums

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Title: Designing Incentives for Online Question and Answer Forums
Author: Jain, Shaili; Chen, Yiling; Parkes, David C.

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Jain, Shaili, Yiling Chen, and David C. Parkes. 2009. Designing incentives for online question and answer forums. In Proceedings of the tenth ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce : July 6-10, 2009, Stanford, California, ed. J. Chuang, 129-138. New York: ACM Press.
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Abstract: In this paper, we provide a simple game-theoretic model of an online question and answer forum. We focus on factual questions in which user responses aggregate while a question remains open. Each user has a unique piece of information and can decide when to report this information. The asker prefers to receive information sooner rather than later, and will stop the process when satisfied with the cumulative value of the posted information. We consider two distinct cases: a complements case, in which each successive piece of information is worth more to the asker than the previous one; and a substitutes case, in which each successive piece of information is worth less than the previous one. A best-answer scoring rule is adopted to model Yahoo! Answers, and is effective for substitutes information, where it isolates an equilibrium in which all users respond in the first round. But we find that this rule is ineffective for complements information, isolating instead an equilibrium in which all users respond in the final round. In addressing this, we demonstrate that an approval-voting scoring rule and a proportional-share scoring rule can enable the most efficient equilibrium with complements information, under certain conditions, by providing incentives for early responders as well as the user who submits the final answer.
Published Version: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1566393&dl=ACM
Other Sources: http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/econcs/pubs/jainec09.pdf
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4340771

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7106]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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