Much Ado About Time: Exhaustive Annotation of Temporal Data


  • Gunnar Sigurdsson Carnegie Mellon University
  • Olga Russakovsky Carnegie Mellon University
  • Ali Farhadi University of Washington and The Allen Institute for AI
  • Ivan Laptev INRIA
  • Abhinav Gupta Carnegie Mellon University and The Allen Institute for AI



Large-scale annotated datasets allow AI systems to learn from and build upon the knowledge of the crowd. Many crowdsourcing techniques have been developed for collecting image annotations. These techniques often implicitly rely on the fact that a new input image takes a negligible amount of time to perceive. In contrast, we investigate and determine the most cost-effective way of obtaining high-quality multi-label annotations for temporal data such as videos. Watching even a short 30-second video clip requires a significant time investment from a crowd worker; thus, requesting multiple annotations following a single viewing is an important cost-saving strategy. But how many questions should we ask per video? We conclude that the optimal strategy is to ask as many questions as possible in a HIT (up to 52 binary questions after watching a 30-second video clip in our experiments).We demonstrate that while workers may not correctly answer all questions, the cost-benefit analysis nevertheless favors consensus from multiple such cheap-yet-imperfect iterations over more complex alternatives. When compared with a one-question-per-video baseline, our method is able to achieve a 10% improvement in recall (76.7% ours versus 66.7% baseline) at comparable precision (83.8% ours versus 83.0% baseline) in about half the annotation time (3.8 minutes ours compared to 7.1 minutes baseline). We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by collecting multi-label annotations of 157 human activities on 1,815 videos.




How to Cite

Sigurdsson, G., Russakovsky, O., Farhadi, A., Laptev, I., & Gupta, A. (2016). Much Ado About Time: Exhaustive Annotation of Temporal Data. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing, 4(1), 219-228.