Tag Archives: conditional probabilities

Can crowdsourcing help find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight #MH370?

On SciCast, we’ve posted three questions about the missing plane. Can crowdsourcing help to locate it?

Dr. Charles Twardy, Project Principal, explains the different ways to crowdsource a search. “When a community turns out to help look for a lost child, that’s crowdsourcing,” he says. “The community volunteers typically aren’t as well-prepared as the search teams, but when directed by experienced Field Team Leaders, they can greatly extend the search effort. Similarly, experimental micro-tasking sites like TomNod.com let volunteers help search piles of digital images. Call it the effort of the crowd. SciCast is about the wisdom of the crowd: weighing the vast amounts of uncertain and conflicting evidence to arrive at a group judgment, of say the relative chances of several regions or scenarios. This could be as simple as an average – a robust method with much to recommend it when judgments are independent.  Or it could be something more advanced, like SciCast’s combinatorial prediction market.  A market reduces double-counting, and may be better suited to the case where most of us are just mulling over the same information, but a few have real insight. The trick is to find a large and diverse crowd, and persuade them to participate.”

Following are the questions. Click any of them to make your forecast (register or login first). Also, see the discussion and background tabs of each question for more details and links to news sources.

Where will the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 be found?

What happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370?

Where will Malaysian Air Flight MH 370 be found (extended version)?

The extended search region uses this map.

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See this blog post for info on how to explore conditional probabilities.

Click here to read more about approaches to crowdsourcing Search & Rescue.

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Related Scenarios

By Dr. Ken Olson

Have you explored Related Forecasts yet?  The SciCast Team frequently adds new questions and new links between questions. The links create clusters of related questions supporting “what-if” forecasts.  We will be showcasing some of those here on the blog.

For example, below we see part of the network linking three clusters of questions: Arctic sea ice, the GBO-4 biodiversity reports, and the Pacific sardine population.

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An arc (an arrow leading from one question to another) indicates that we think the outcome of one question might influence the other.  Questions connected by arcs will usually appear in each other’s “Related Forecasts” section.  For example, “GBO-4 Biomes” will appear for “Arctic sea ice extent” and vice versa.  Your biome forecast can depend on sea ice extent: presumably a loss of sea ice reduces that biome.

Continue reading

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Related Scenarios/Linked Questions – Almond Production

The forecast question “How many billions of pounds of almond meat will be harvested in California in 2013?”  has been resolved and is closed for additional forecasts. The most popular answer was a bit too low (1.80-1.89).  The answer was 1.92 billion pounds.

The USDA’s NASS ‘Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2012 Annual Summary’ was not published as originally scheduled due to the U.S. federal government’s 2013 budget sequestration.  Although the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has issued its annual almond summary in January nearly every year, this year we should not expect the ‘Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2013 Annual Summary’ until July.

Therefore, we decided to use the summary statistics of the Almond Board to settle this question. The twelve months of numbers for 2013 in the last table of the Almond Board report sum to about 1.92 billion pounds.

Please note that there are still open questions regarding almonds in 2013 that will not resolve until the USDA NASS publishes its report.
Make your forecasts on the remaining linked almond production questions:
  • Question 121:  What will be the total U.S. almond utilized production during the 2013 marketing season, in thousands of tons?
  • Question 122: What will be the total value of U.S. almond utilized production for the 2013 marketing season, in thousands of USD?
  • Question 104: What percent of managed honey bee colonies in the US will be lost during the 2013-2014 winter?  This has been one of our most popular questions and is linked to many of the agriculture questions.
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