Sus-tweet-ability: Exposing public community's perspective on sustainability of urban infrastructure through online social media

International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 89, 2016, Pages 54-72.

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Keywords:
Urban informaticsCrowdsourcingSustainabilityUrban infrastructureOnline social mediaMore(2+)
Weibo:
Certain ideas are over-promoted in online social media, while they may not be as hot topics in offline discussions

Abstract:

One key role of urban informatics is to understand demands, challenges, and opportunities for major infrastructure projects in a bottom-up format. In this respect, engaging citizens through communication tools available in Social Web, and distilling micro-knowledge distributed among them appear to be reliable and promising streams. Chaoti...More

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Introduction
  • The current study tries to describe how the collective intelligence of communities can help to classify and extract knowledge from the content socially created around context-specific issues regarding sustainability of urban infrastructure.
  • Many researchers have questioned the credibility of results, when complicated tasks are crowdsourced; since the final outcome of crowdsourcing is generally full of noise, Please cite this article as: Nik-Bakht, M., El-Diraby, T.E., Sus-tweet-ability: Exposing public community's perspective on sustainability of urban infrastructure through....
Highlights
  • Given the nature of the problem, this paper suggests an alternative method to define such indicators through a bottom-up approach by involving the public's opinion and prosumers' knowledge through a number of cases study projects. ‘Sustainability’ in this research has been approached from a xholistic perspective to cover all main components of economic, environmental, and social sustainability within the whole lifecycle of projects from different sectors and sub-sectors of civil infrastructure systems
  • Many researchers have questioned the credibility of results, when complicated tasks are crowdsourced; since the final outcome of crowdsourcing is generally full of noise, Please cite this article as: Nik-Bakht, M., El-Diraby, T.E., Sus-tweet-ability: Exposing public community's perspective on sustainability of urban infrastructure through
  • Crowdsourcing was selected as the tool, not only due to the value it adds by ensuring the pluralism of perspectives, but to take advantage of wisdom of the crowd in refining the results and fine-tuning indicators of sustainability for urban infrastructure projects
  • Players of Sustweetability got scored for classifying a set of infrastructure-related tweets under the three main components of sustainability, tagging them by the topic and sentiment, and detecting/suggesting new sustainability-related indicators from the topics discussed by the tweets
  • In some cases, certain ideas are over-promoted in online social media, while they may not be as hot topics in offline discussions
Results
  • Crowdsourcing was selected as the tool, not only due to the value it adds by ensuring the pluralism of perspectives, but to take advantage of wisdom of the crowd in refining the results and fine-tuning indicators of sustainability for urban infrastructure projects.
  • Players of Sustweetability got scored for classifying a set of infrastructure-related tweets under the three main components of sustainability, tagging them by the topic and sentiment, and detecting/suggesting new sustainability-related indicators from the topics discussed by the tweets.
  • The game shared a set of tweets discussing urban infrastructure projects with the players, and provided them with a set of sustainability indicators for construction of infrastructure systems, developed by experts in the literature.
  • This indicators set, which in the game was referred to as ‘expert-generated tags’, was created for evaluation of infrastructure project sustainability from economic, social, and environmental perspectives.
  • Developing a monitoring tool through benchmark indicators to create a “sustainability enhancement framework” based on lessons learnt in Europe in general and UK and Scotland in specific A set of Key Assessment Indicators to assess the sustainability of construction processes in infrastructure projects A model to account the total ecological resource consumption by the construction industry through an ecologically based life-cycle assessment A decision support system to evaluate completing installation technologies for underground facilities in the context of sustainability of indicators and introduced the most significant ones in each of the three classes of sustainability, as shown in Fig. 1.
  • Players could collect points for different activities including spreading the game, annotating tweets, and creating new tags.
  • Players of Sustweetability could gain scores for three major activities: annotating tweets, creating new tags, and spreading the word.
Conclusion
  • Players of Sustweetability only got scored for annotation if they had selected the correct category for the first level of subject and the sentiment.
  • Results of the game are presented here from two aspects: the authors first explain the worker base and their participation, and discuss the set of tags created under the three different classes.
Summary
  • The current study tries to describe how the collective intelligence of communities can help to classify and extract knowledge from the content socially created around context-specific issues regarding sustainability of urban infrastructure.
  • Many researchers have questioned the credibility of results, when complicated tasks are crowdsourced; since the final outcome of crowdsourcing is generally full of noise, Please cite this article as: Nik-Bakht, M., El-Diraby, T.E., Sus-tweet-ability: Exposing public community's perspective on sustainability of urban infrastructure through....
  • Crowdsourcing was selected as the tool, not only due to the value it adds by ensuring the pluralism of perspectives, but to take advantage of wisdom of the crowd in refining the results and fine-tuning indicators of sustainability for urban infrastructure projects.
  • Players of Sustweetability got scored for classifying a set of infrastructure-related tweets under the three main components of sustainability, tagging them by the topic and sentiment, and detecting/suggesting new sustainability-related indicators from the topics discussed by the tweets.
  • The game shared a set of tweets discussing urban infrastructure projects with the players, and provided them with a set of sustainability indicators for construction of infrastructure systems, developed by experts in the literature.
  • This indicators set, which in the game was referred to as ‘expert-generated tags’, was created for evaluation of infrastructure project sustainability from economic, social, and environmental perspectives.
  • Developing a monitoring tool through benchmark indicators to create a “sustainability enhancement framework” based on lessons learnt in Europe in general and UK and Scotland in specific A set of Key Assessment Indicators to assess the sustainability of construction processes in infrastructure projects A model to account the total ecological resource consumption by the construction industry through an ecologically based life-cycle assessment A decision support system to evaluate completing installation technologies for underground facilities in the context of sustainability of indicators and introduced the most significant ones in each of the three classes of sustainability, as shown in Fig. 1.
  • Players could collect points for different activities including spreading the game, annotating tweets, and creating new tags.
  • Players of Sustweetability could gain scores for three major activities: annotating tweets, creating new tags, and spreading the word.
  • Players of Sustweetability only got scored for annotation if they had selected the correct category for the first level of subject and the sentiment.
  • Results of the game are presented here from two aspects: the authors first explain the worker base and their participation, and discuss the set of tags created under the three different classes.
Tables
  • Table1: Pros and cons of different genres of crowdsourcing for annotation (<a class="ref-link" id="cWang_et+al_2013_a" href="#rWang_et+al_2013_a">Wang et al, 2013</a>)
  • Table2: Summary of studies in civil engineering related domains involving crowdsourcing
  • Table3: Crowdsourcing dimensions of Sustweetability, based on the <a class="ref-link" id="cWang_et+al_2013_a" href="#rWang_et+al_2013_a">Wang et al (2013</a>) framework
  • Table4: Distribution of collected tweets based on the infrastructure subsector and phase in project lifecycle
  • Table5: Infrastructure sustainability indicators reviewed to create the annotation schema
  • Table6: Table 6
  • Table7: Participation of players in creating and using tags in two versions of the game
Download tables as Excel
Related work
  • As mentioned earlier, there are confusions about the exact definition of crowdsourcing and what does or does not count as a crowdsourcing task. As an example, Brabham (2013) argues that open source software projects (such as Firefox and Apache), commons-based peer production (such as Wikipedia), and brand engagement campaigns do not fulfill crowdsourcing criteria due to uneven distribution of authority and control among initiators and the crowd. Without entering the semantics and technical controversies in this regard, we simply address experiments which are generally accepted as crowdsourcing by the scholarly literature and do not violate the definition presented in Section 2.

    3.1. Crowdsourcing outside civil engineering

    Originally crowdsourcing in its modern definition was employed in the business world as a business model to take advantage of prosumers’ knowledge and skills. Both Howe (2008) and Brabham (2013) refer to Threadless.com as one of the earliest and most successful examples of applying such a business model: a clothing company crowdsourcing designing and selection of best designs for silk-screened graphic T-shirts to the online community. This arrangement not only bypasses the design stage for the company, but also integrates the market research process into it. Innocentive.com is another example of successfully applying crowdsourcing to distill user innovations. It is a “cloud-based innovation management platform” which shares innovation and R&D problems as open calls with their online community of more than 250,000 problem solvers for cash prizes. Problems crowdsourced and solved by this system range from oil recovery issues (eventually solved by an expert in concrete industry in 2007!), to medical tools and facilities, and issues in developing/less developed countries.
Funding
  • Suggests a specific form of collective intelligence, which can be described as ‘collective classification’, as a strategy and employs crowdsourcing as a tool to overcome such difficulties
  • Given the nature of the problem, this paper suggests an alternative method to define such indicators through a bottom-up approach by involving the public's opinion and prosumers' knowledge through a number of cases study projects. ‘Sustainability’ in this research has been approached from a xholistic perspective to cover all main components of economic, environmental, and social sustainability within the whole lifecycle of projects from different sectors and sub-sectors of civil infrastructure systems
  • Will present and discuss the results of this game and provides the readers with implications and suggestions based on these results in Section 6
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