Crowdsourcing using Intelligent Supervision to address Information Requirements in Crisis Situations (CRISIS)
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-063
Topic Title: Crowdsourcing using Intelligent Supervision to address Information Requirements in Crisis Situations (CRISIS)
Proposal No.: N131-063-0098
Firm: Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138-4555
Contact: Sean Guarino
Phone: (617) 491-3474
Web Site:
Abstract: Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) are often first responders, addressing crises such as natural disasters and regional instability. To adequately respond, they must quickly and accurately analyze large amounts of raw information. Fortunately, through crowdsourcing, there are vast, knowledgeable, and unexploited resources in local and military populations that can address information requirements (IR) and analysis needs. However, Marines need an effective system to use these distributed human processing resources. MapReduce addresses a similar distributed parallel computational processing problem, but not the inherent diversity of human resources. Inspired by MapReduce, we propose to design and demonstrate a system for Crowdsourcing with Intelligent Supervision to address IRs in Crisis Situations (CRISIS). CRISIS provides a crowdsourcing algorithm to employ diversely skilled crowds to address problems for MEUs, focusing on four key components: (1) an evolvable ontology of crowd capabilities to drive human-centered problem partitioning; (2) probabilistic models of crowd skills and preferences to not only identify crowd resources, but understand their capabilities; (3) a market-based optimization system to perform load management and mapping while addressing a scarcity of properly skilled resources to address tasks; and (4) a combination of semantic reasoning and provenance modeling to reduce solutions, identifying consistencies and inconsistencies in the process.
Benefits: We expect the full-scope CRISIS system to have immediate and tangible benefits for Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) in crisis situations. CRISIS will provide MEUs with a crowdsourcing system to address both intelligence gathering and analysis problems, providing the surge analytic capabilities needed to support tactical operations. To bring this capability to Marines, we plan to integrate CRISIS in DCGS-MC, where it can both support crowdsourcing of key IRs and incorporate intelligence and operational resources in the crowd. To commercialize CRISIS, we will explore its integration with a number of crowdsourcing products and services, including Ushihidi, Mechanical Turk, and TopCoder's crowdsourced software design and development process. Finally, CRISIS will provide critical enhancements to our AgentWorksT graphical agent development environment, including an integrated market-based optimization system and a provenance modeling component.