Submissions/Wikis considered as least energy systems: Cultutal and community implications for accuracy

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This is an open submission for Wikimania 2011.

Review no.

104

Title of the submission
Wikis considered as least energy systems: Cultural and community implications for accuracy
Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Presentation (would also consider workshop)
Author of the submission
Richard Farmbrough
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
User:Rich Farmbrough
Country of origin
UK
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Oxford Internet Institute
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

It is well known that the nature of open access editing means that inaccuracy is inserted into Wiki pages on a regular basis, whether through deliberate vandalism, egotistical editing, conceptual or even typographical error. Conversely agents (both human, automatic and hybrid) are constantly improving the pages, certainly on busy WikiMedia Foundation projects such as the larger language Wikipedias.

It is thus possible to consider a wiki page as subject to a number of opposing forces that vary according to a plethora of external variables - one dimension of the result being accuracy. In this model the least energy point is the typical accuracy state a page will assume in the long term. This presentation looks at a model of those forces, with data from a number of sample pages to indicate closeness of fit of the model for traditional wiki pages, with various levels of monitoring and editing. The model is then modified to simulate the results of various data preserving strategies, including watch listing, pending changes, protection, semi-protection and various types of automatic monitoring and correction, such as anti-vandal "bad word" monitoring and Chembot's chembox monitoring of key values and identity fields, with reference, where appropriate to total effort expended to move accuracy.

Finally consideration is given to the use of an extensive hybrid monitoring system based on contextualised semantic representations of both natural language and systematised data in an external store, which is used to validate changes and additions, and to various methods of activating the oversight of other agents to inconsistent edits. The possible long term benefits of the approach and the self-reinforcing nature of the data consistency model are discussed. Limitations and drawbacks of the approach are discussed, along with other applications for the technology, and methods for its realization in a cooperative working environment.

A short appendix covers alternative interpretations as a dynamical system and as a noisy channel.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Wiki Culture and the Community
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
yes
Slides or further information (optional)


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  1. Vibhijain 11:37, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. Interesting... (do you mean "Cultural" in the page name?) Deryck Chan 21:50, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
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