Project 2577: M. A. O’Leary, K. Alphonse, A. H. Mariangeles, D. Cavaliere, A. Cirranello, T. G. Dietterich, M. Julius, S. Kaufman, E. Law, M. Passarotti, A. Reft, J. Robalino, N. B. Simmons, S. Y. Smith, D. W. Stevenson, E. Theriot, P. M. Velazco, R. L. Walls, M. Yu, M. Daly. 2018. Crowds Replicate Performance of Scientific Experts Scoring Phylogenetic Matrices of Phenotypes. Systematic Biology. 67 (1):49-60.
Specimen: Kerivoula hardwickii (AMNH/Mammalogy:107483)
View: Skull-dorsal

Abstract

Scientists building the Tree of Life face an overwhelming challenge to categorize phenotypes (e.g., anatomy, physiology) from millions of living and fossil species. This biodiversity challenge far outstrips the capacities of trained scientific experts. Here we explore whether crowdsourcing can be used to collect matrix data on a large scale with the participation of the non-expert students, or “citizen scientists.” Crowdsourcing, or data collection by non-experts, frequently via the internet, has enabled scientists to tackle some large-scale data collection challenges too massive for individuals or scientific teams alone. The quality of work by non-expert crowds is, however, often questioned and little data has been collected on how such crowds perform on complex tasks such as phylogenetic character coding. We studied a crowd of over 600 non-experts, and found that they could use images to identify anatomical similarity (hypotheses of homology) with an average accuracy of 82% compared to scores provided by experts in the field. This performance pattern held across the Tree of Life, from protists to vertebrates. We introduce a procedure that predicts the difficulty of each character and that can be used to assign harder characters to experts and easier characters to a non-expert crowd for scoring. We test this procedure in a controlled experiment comparing crowd scores to those of experts and show that crowds can produce matrices with over 90% of cells scored correctly while reducing the number of cells to be scored by experts by 50%. Preparation time, including image collection and processing, for a crowdsourcing experiment is significant, and does not currently save time of scientific experts overall. However, if innovations in automation or robotics can reduce such effort, then large-scale implementation of our method could greatly increase the collective scientific knowledge of species phenotypes for phylogenetic tree building. For the field of crowdsourcing, we provide a rare study with ground truth, or an experimental control that many studies lack, and contribute new methods on how to coordinate the work of experts and non-experts. We show that there are important instances in which crowd consensus is not a good proxy for correctness.


Read the article »

Article DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syx052

Project DOI: 10.7934/P2577, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P2577
This project containsMatrices
  • 96 Media
  • 1 Matrix
  • 1 Document
  • 6 Taxa
  • 15 Specimens
  • 20 Characters
Total size of project's media files: 297.77M

Download Project SDD File
Total scored cells: 140
Total media associated with cells: 122
Total labels associated with cell media: 148
Characters
Total characters: 20
Total characters with associated media: 20
Total characters with media with labels: 0
Total character states: 55
Total character states with associated media: 52
Total character states with media with labels:0
Total unordered/ordered characters:20/0
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 2577

    This research
    supported by

    Authors' Institutions

    • Ohio State University

    • Oregon State University

    • University of Arizona

    • University of Michigan

    • University of Texas at Austin

    • University of Waterloo

    • American Museum of Natural History

    • Drexel University

    • Kenx Technology Inc

    • New York Botanical Garden

    • St. Cloud State University

    • Stony Brook University

    • Whirl-i-gig

    • College of William and Mary

    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute



    Members

    member name taxa specimens media chars character
    media
    labels
    cell scorings
    (scored, NPA, "-")
    cell
    medialabels
    rules
    Andrea Cirranello
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 05/30/17
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    000
    Maureen O'Leary
    Full membership
    Last logged in Never
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    000
    Nancy Simmons
    Full membership
    Last logged in Never
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    000
    Paul Velazco
    Full membership
    Last logged in Never
    0000000
    (0, 0, 0)
    000


    Taxonomic Overview for Matrix 'M24371' (6 Taxa)

    taxon unscored
    cells
    scored
    cells
    no cell
    support
    NPA
    cells
    "-" cellscell images labels on
    cell images
    member
    access
    [1] Cynopterus sphinx
    Last Modified in 12/21/16
    0400002022none
    [2] Saccopteryx bilineata
    Last Modified in 12/21/16
    0200002125none
    [3] Trachops cirrhosus
    Last Modified in 12/21/16
    0200002125none
    [4] Kerivoula hardwickii
    Last Modified in 12/21/16
    0200002027none
    [5] Miniopterus schrebersii
    Last Modified in 12/21/16
    0200002026none
    [6] Erinaceus europaeus
    Last Modified in 12/21/16
    0200002023none


    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views23394
    Project overview1250
    Matrix views506Matrix landing page (467 views); Bat Skull Matrix (39 views);
    Media views13752Media search (1067 views); M435071 (141 views); M435131 (119 views); M435137 (119 views); M435118 (101 views); M435083 (154 views); M435129 (123 views); M435095 (133 views); M435084 (126 views); M435053 (144 views); M435086 (141 views); M435107 (117 views); M435135 (118 views); M435141 (116 views); M435127 (121 views); M435113 (116 views); M435054 (147 views); M435064 (162 views); M435146 (132 views); M435124 (148 views); M435136 (124 views); M435089 (129 views); M435076 (132 views); M435085 (161 views); M435058 (160 views); M435068 (142 views); M435057 (147 views); M435106 (127 views); M435130 (133 views); M435104 (137 views); M435087 (185 views); M435116 (112 views); M435122 (122 views); M435142 (124 views); M435088 (152 views); M435060 (143 views); M435133 (120 views); M435070 (148 views); M435072 (156 views); M435063 (118 views); M435145 (113 views); M435081 (145 views); M435069 (156 views); M435138 (127 views); M435126 (105 views); M435147 (121 views); M435056 (174 views); M435108 (122 views); M435140 (114 views); M435091 (148 views); M435062 (141 views); M435111 (120 views); M435143 (123 views); M435082 (140 views); M435094 (126 views); M435080 (127 views); M435128 (116 views); M435059 (152 views); M435066 (144 views); M435125 (111 views); M435144 (135 views); M435067 (125 views); M435114 (152 views); M435061 (159 views); M435109 (114 views); M435090 (122 views); M435134 (130 views); M435077 (118 views); M435098 (125 views); M435123 (104 views); M435100 (129 views); M435119 (112 views); M435115 (127 views); M435096 (122 views); M435078 (136 views); M435074 (121 views); M435105 (125 views); M435112 (165 views); M435097 (126 views); M435148 (127 views); M435110 (139 views); M435055 (166 views); M435099 (121 views); M435093 (144 views); M435065 (142 views); M435121 (125 views); M435073 (126 views); M435132 (117 views); M435102 (141 views); M435092 (134 views); M435075 (131 views); M435120 (126 views); M435101 (140 views); M435117 (126 views); M435079 (136 views); M435139 (111 views); M435103 (111 views);
    Taxon list2857
    Specimen list3173
    Views for media list408
    Documents list425
    Bibliography1023




    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project112
    Project downloads99
    Matrix downloads11Bat Skull Matrix (11 downloads);
    Document downloads2Supplementary material (2 downloads);