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Programming Incentives in Information Systems


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Information systems are becoming ever more reliant on different forms of social computing, employing individuals, crowds or assembled teams of professionals.
With humans as first-class elements, the success of such systems depends heavily on how well we can motivate people to act in a planned fashion.
Incentives are an important part of human resource management, manifesting selective and motivating effects. However, support for defining and executing incentives in today's information systems is underdeveloped, often being limited to simple, per-task cash rewards. Furthermore, no systematic approach to program incentive functionalities for this type of platforms exists.

In this paper we present fundamental elements of a framework for programmable incentive management in information systems. These elements form the basis necessary to support modeling, programming, and execution of various incentive mechanisms. They can be integrated with different underlying systems, promoting portability and reuse of proven incentive strategies. We carry out a functional design evaluation by illustrating modeling and composing capabilities of a prototype implementation on realistic incentive scenarios.

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Programming Incentives in Information Systems

  1. 1. 25th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering June 17-21, 2013, Valencia, Spain Ognjen Scekic, Hong-Linh Truong, Schahram Dustdar Distributed Systems Group Vienna University of Technology Programming Incentives in Information Systems
  2. 2. 2 CAiSE’13 Evolution of Collaborative Processes Conventional workflows • formal description • structured execution • predefined roles and activities • complex tasks Crowdsourcing • simple tasks • anonymous replaceable actors • short, unstructured interactions • No interaction/collaboration among actors + = Socio-technical Collective Adaptive Systems • ad-hoc assembled teams • complex tasks • social orchestration • indirect adaptation
  3. 3. 3 CAiSE’13  Programmable incentive management  Requirements: – Modeling – Programming – Execution – Monitoring – Re-use Incentive Programming Model for CASs  EU FP7 SmartSociety project
  4. 4. 4 CAiSE’13 Incentives & Rewards • Incentives Stimulate (motivate) or discourage certain worker activities before the actual execution of those activities. • Rewards Any kind of recompense for worthy services rendered or retribution for wrongdoing exerted upon workers after the completion of activity. • Incentive Mechanism A plan (rule) for assigning rewards.
  5. 5. 5 CAiSE’13  We identified 7 basic incentive mechanisms in use today and their constituent elements.  New mechanisms can be built by composing and customizing well- known incentive elements.  Portable, reusable, scalable Modeling Incentives
  6. 6. 6 CAiSE’13 Executing Incentives
  7. 7. 7 CAiSE’13 PRogrammable INCentives Framework (PRINC) Representation of external system suitable for modeling application of incentives. • State – Global state, individual worker attributes and performance metrics (QoS). • Time – Records of past and future worker interactions supporting time conditions. • Structure – Representation and manipulation of various types of relationships Rewarding Model (RMod)
  8. 8. 8 CAiSE’13  Examples of mechanisms that RMod can encode and execute: − At the end of iteration, award each worker who scored better than the average score of his immediate neighbors. − Unless the productivity increases to a level p within n next iterations, replace team's current manager with the most-trusted of his subordinate workers. The Rewarding Model (RMod)
  9. 9. 9 CAiSE’13 PRINC Framework • Definition of system-specific artifacts, actions, attributes and relation types. • Definition and parameterization of metrics, messages, structural patterns and custom incentive mechanisms. Mapping Model (MMod)
  10. 10. 10 CAiSE’13 The Mapping Model (MMod)  Example: Adapting a general incentive mechanism for a software testing company. DSL When a bug report is verified, award points to the submitter. library
  11. 11. 11 CAiSE’13 PRINC Framework • Declarative, domain-specific language. • High-level, platform independent, human-friendly notation. Incentive Model (IMod)
  12. 12. 12 CAiSE’13  We do not invent nor evaluate incentive mechanisms.  Basic techniques, such as composition of mechanisms evaluated through simulation:  DomainPro1 tool Evaluation 1
  13. 13. 13 CAiSE’13  Functional evaluation of RMod prototype.  e.g. structural incentive mechanism rotating presidency. Evaluation internal rule representation 1. 2. 3.
  14. 14. 14 CAiSE’13  Functional evaluation  Encoding real-world incentive schemes, e.g., lottery and shares  Evaluation
  15. 15. 15 CAiSE’13  Conclusions: – Socio-technical systems need effective incentive management. – We presented a framework for modeling, composing, adapting, executing and monitoring portable incentive strategies.  Current work: – High-level, user-friendly, graphical DSL. – Integration into the overall programming model for CASs.  Future Work: – Determine best incentive practices in a given environment by learning from past incentive applications. Conclusion & Future Work
  16. 16. 25th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering June 17-21, 2013, Valencia, Spain Ognjen Scekic, Hong-Linh Truong, Schahram Dustdar Distributed Systems Group Vienna University of Technology Modeling Rewards and Incentive Mechanisms for Social BPM Thank you! Questions?