Honglei Zhuang and Joel Young

In the Proceedings of the Eighth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining



Data annotation bias is found in many situations. Often it can be ignored as just another component of the noise floor. However, it is especially prevalent in crowdsourcing tasks and must be actively managed. Annotation bias on single data items has been studied with regard to data difficulty, annotator bias, etc., while annotation bias on batches of multiple data items simultaneously presented to annotators has not been studied. In this paper, we verify the existence of “in-batch annotation bias” between data items in the same batch. We propose a factor graph based batch annotation model to quantitatively capture the in-batch annotation bias, and measure the bias during a crowdsourcing annotation process of inappropriate comments in LinkedIn. We discover that annotators tend to make polarized annotations for the entire batch of data items in our task. We further leverage the batch annotation model to propose a novel batch active learning algorithm. We test the algorithm on a real crowdsourcing platform and find that it outperforms in-batch bias naïve algorithms.