Model for Voter Scoring and Best Answer Selection in Community Q&A Services

Community Question Answering (cQA) services, such as Yahoo! Answers and MSN QnA, facilitate knowledge sharing through question answering by an online community of users. These services include incentive mechanisms to entice participation and self-regulate the quality of the content contributed by the users. In order to encourage quality contributions, community members are asked to nominate the ‘best’ among the answers provided to a question. The service then awards extra points to the author who provided the winning answer and to the voters who cast their vote for that answer. The best answers are typically selected by plurality voting, a scheme that is simple, yet vulnerable to random voting and collusion. We propose a weighted voting method that incorporates information about the voters’ behavior. It assigns a score to each voter that captures the level of agreement with other voters. It uses the voter scores to aggregate the votes and determine the best answer. The mathematical formulation leads to the application of the Brouwer Fixed Point Theorem which guarantees the existence of a voter scoring function that satisfies the starting axiom. We demonstrate the robustness of our approach through simulations and analysis of real cQA service data.

In  Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence, WI 2009

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