Online Assignment of Heterogeneous Tasks in Crowdsourcing Markets
Keywords:Crowdsourcing, Task Assignment, Online Algorithms
We investigate the problem of heterogeneous task assignment in crowdsourcing markets from the point of view of the requester, who has a collection of tasks. Workers arrive online one by one, and each declare a set of feasible tasks they can solve, and desired payment for each feasible task. The requester must decide on the fly which task (if any) to assign to the worker, while assigning workers only to feasible tasks. The goal is to maximize the number of assigned tasks with a fixed overall budget.
We provide an online algorithm for this problem and prove an upper bound on the competitive ratio of this algorithm against an arbitrary (possibly worst-case) sequence of workers who want small payments relative to the requester’s total budget. We further show an almost matching lower bound on the competitive ratio of any algorithm in this setting. Finally, we propose a different algorithm that achieves an improved competitive ratio in the random permutation model, where the order of arrival of the workers is chosen uniformly at random. Apart from these strong theoretical guarantees, we carry out experiments on simulated data which demonstrates the practical applicability of our algorithms.