Tag Archives: MH370

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!

SciCasters:

Thank you for your participation over the past year and a half in the largest collaborative S&T forecasting project, ever. Our main IARPA funding has ended, and we were not able to finalize things with our (likely) new sponsor in time to keep the question-management, user support, engineering support, and prizes running uninterrupted. Therefore we will be suspending SciCast Predict for the summer, starting June 12, 2015 at 4 pm ET.  We expect to resume in the Fall with the enthusiastic support of a big S&T sponsor. In the meantime, we will continue to update the blog, and provide links to leaderboard snapshots and important data.

Recap

Through the course of this project, we’ve seen nearly 130,000 forecasts from thousands of forecasters on over 1,200 forecasting questions, and an average of >240 forecasts per day. We created a combinatorial engine robust enough to allow crowdsourced linking, resulting in the following rich domain structure:

Near-final questoin structure on SciCast, with most of the live links provided by users.

Near-final question structure on SciCast, with most of the live links provided by users. (Click for full size)

Some project highlights:

  • The market beat its own unweighted opinion pool (from Safe Mode) 7/10 times, by an average of 18% (measured by mean daily Brier score on a question)
  • The overall market Brier was about 0.29
  • The project was featured in The Wall Street Journal and Nature and many other places
  • SciCast partnered with AAAS, IEEE, and the FUSE program to author more than 1,200 questions
  • Project principals Charles Twardy and Robin Hanson answered questions in a Reddit Science AMA
  • SciCasters weighed in on news movers & shakers like the Philae landing and Flight MH370
  • SciCast held partner webinars with ACS and with TechCast Global
  • SciCast hosted questions (and provided commentary) for the Dicty World Race
  • In collaboration The Discovery Analytics Center at Virginia Tech and Healthmap.org, SciCast featured questions about the 2014-2015 flu season
  • SciCast gave away BIG prizes for accuracy and combo edits
  • Other researchers are using SciCast for analysis and research in the Bitcoin block size debate
  • MIT and ANU researchers studied SciCast accuracy and efficiency, and were unable to improve using stock machine learning — a testimony to our most active forecasters and their bots. [See links for Della Penna, Adjodah, and Pentland 2015, here.]

What’s Next?

Prizes for the combo edits contest will be sent out this week, and we will be sharing a blog post summarizing the project. Although SciCast.org will be closed, this blog will remain open as well as the user group.  Watch for announcements regarding future SciCast.

Once again, thank you so much for your participation!  We’re nothing without our crowd.

Contact

Please contact us at contact@scicast.org if you have questions about the research project or want to talk about using SciCast in your own organization.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

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SciCast, Bluefin-21, and GeNIe

Reposted with permission from SciCast forecaster Jay Kominek. You can find his blog, hypercomplex.net here

I’m going to assume you’re familiar with SciCast; if you aren’t, that link is the place to start. Or maybe Wikipedia.

There has been a open question on SciCast, “Will Bluefin-21 locate the black box from Malaysian Airlines flight MH-370?”, since mid-April. (If you don’t know what MH370 is, I envy you.) It dropped fairly quickly to predicting that there was a 10% chance of Bluefin-21 locating MH370. Early on, that was reasonable enough. There was evidence pings from the black box had been detected in the region, so the entire Indian Ocean had been narrowed down to a relatively small area.

Unfortunately weeks passed and on May 29th Bluefin-21’s mission was completed, unsuccessfully. Bluefin-21 then stopped looking. At this point, I (and others) expected the forecast to plummet. But folks kept pushing it back up. In fact I count about 5 or 6 distinct individuals who moved the probability up after completion of the mission. There are perfectly good reasons related to the nature of the prediction market for some of those adjustments.

I’m interested in the bad reasons.

Continue reading

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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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