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The Math of Gamification

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the proving-who-you-can-trust dept.

Math 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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How about we just gameify gamification? (2, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about 10 months ago | (#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?

Re:How about we just gameify gamification? (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 10 months ago | (#45868867)

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.

Re:How about we just gameify gamification? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 10 months ago | (#45868989)

I guess calling it [kmjn.org] "socialist competition" is no longer fashionable...

Re:How about we just gameify gamification? (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | about 10 months ago | (#45877989)

Behavioralism or Behaviorism?

Mod points... (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Mod points... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 10 months ago | (#45868829)

agreed.

Re:Mod points... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869039)

And this is the only comment modded visible. Go figure.

Slashdot, thou hast been propelled beyond the dorsal surface of the cliche finned seagoing predator.

Captcha: creaking. How apropos.

All of this for Foursquare? (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 10 months ago | (#45868685)

So much math, so little gain.

Re:All of this for Foursquare? (1)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45868691)

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

Re: All of this for Foursquare? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 10 months ago | (#45868869)

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?

Re: All of this for Foursquare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45868901)

I don't understand why any adult would want to use foursquare.

Re: All of this for Foursquare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869967)

I don't understand why any adult would want to use linkedin, so I suppose it's horses for courses.

Re: All of this for Foursquare? (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 10 months ago | (#45869427)

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.

Re: All of this for Foursquare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45878913)

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.

You're probably thinking four11.com. They were bought out by Yahoo IIRC.

Re:All of this for Foursquare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45872683)

That's how the information age works. We get the machines to do a lot of math for every little thing we want. Because we can, and it's cheap, so why the hell not?

I for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45868715)

I for one welcome our new mathematics overlords

Alright. (1)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 10 months ago | (#45868747)

So it's logistic regression, kinda.

Moderation++ (1)

quist (72831) | about 10 months ago | (#45868915)

Statistically graded meta-moderation w/ gamification for volume pumping. Cool, just cool.

Moderation+- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869449)

And poorly graded, at that. Seeing as their use of bayes' equation starts off by assuming that the probability of false positives is 1 - that of true positives, in order to shoe in the logit function. Fun stuff.

where math and sociology meet (3, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | about 10 months ago | (#45868937)

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....

Re:where math and sociology meet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869897)

Social Engineering, RALPH: They seed it, you feed it.
My apologies to everyone reading this who is not blind.

          —PublicBore

Let the griefing begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45868977)

The fundamental problem with gamification is that it is inherently subject to manipulation. Why do griefers grief? Because they can. In every game known to man, somebody has figured out a way to use the rules in ways that are unexpected to ends that are generally considered undesirable. The more complicated and automated the rules (video games) the worse the griefing. Their goal of removing any form of judgement will ensure griefing, particularly if there is money to be made at it.

Mathematizing the deck chairs on the Titanic... (4, Insightful)

gavron (1300111) | about 10 months ago | (#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

Re:Mathematizing the deck chairs on the Titanic... (2)

aviators99 (895782) | about 10 months ago | (#45869309)

Ever since FB stopped listing FS checkins [snip]

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

Vision be damned... (1)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about 10 months ago | (#45869003)

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

THE ONLY WAY TO WIN . . . !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869065)

is to !!

  you know !!

  cheat !!
 

What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869079)

Is this article even in English? I mean the words are English but it looks like something a ransom sentence generator would spit out

Re:What the hell? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 10 months ago | (#45869841)

We have your son/daughter/fiance/dog and want money/sex/pokemons/biscuits for their safe/tortured return.

But ultimately, what difference does it make? (1)

stevenm86 (780116) | about 10 months ago | (#45869085)

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.

Re:But ultimately, what difference does it make? (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 10 months ago | (#45869851)

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).

Translation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869093)

Is there an English version of this so that those of us who are not math majors understand what this is about?

Re:Translation? (1)

Boronx (228853) | about 10 months ago | (#45869115)

They have a program that guesses how good someone is at having the opinion of the average four square user, maybe?

How Would You Like to Bet? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 10 months ago | (#45869139)

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.

What is the point of this absurd "service"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869493)

What is the point of this absurd "service"?

No Nash (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45869881)

No mention of Nash. You guys suck.

machine learning (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 10 months ago | (#45871243)

Okay, so they used supervised machine learning techniques and depending on the "features" of the user entry decide the accuracy.
Good for them!
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