Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computer program assesses quality of Wikipedia entries

Date:
August 6, 2014
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Wikipedia the free, online collaborative encyclopedia is an important source of information. However, while the team of volunteer editors endeavors to maintain high standards, there are occasionally problems with the veracity of content, deliberate vandalism and incomplete entries. Computer scientists have now devised a software algorithm that can automatically check a particular entry and rank it according to quality.

Wikipedia the free, online collaborative encyclopedia is an important source of information. However, while the team of volunteer editors endeavors to maintain high standards, there are occasionally problems with the veracity of content, deliberate vandalism and incomplete entries. Writing in the International Journal of Information Quality, computer scientists in China have devised a software algorithm that can automatically check a particular entry and rank it according to quality.

Jingyu Han and Kejia Chen of Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, explain that the quality of data on Wikipedia has for many years been the focus of user attention. Its detractors suggest that it can never be a valid information source in the way that a proprietary encyclopedia might be because the contributors and editors are not under the direct control of a single publisher with a vested interest in quality control. Its supporters suggest that the social nature of contributions and edits and the online tracking of changes is one of Wikipedia's greatest strengths rather than a weakness.

Nevertheless, it would quiet the detractors if there were a way to quantify the quality of Wikipedia entries in an objective and automated manner. Now, Han and Chen have turned to Bayesian statistics to help them create just such a system. The notion of finding evidence based on an analysis of probabilities was first described by 18th Century mathematician and theologian Thomas Bayes. Bayesian probabilities were then utilized by Pierre-Simon Laplace to pioneer a new statistical method. Today, Bayesian analysis is commonly used to assess the content of emails and to determine the probability that the content is spam, junk mail, and so filter it from the user's inbox if the probability is high.

Han and Chen have now used dynamic Bayesian network (DBN) to analyze in a similar manner the content of Wikipedia entries. They apply multivariate Gaussian distribution modeling to the DBN analysis, which gives them a distribution of the quality of each article so that entries might be ranked. Very low-ranking entries might be flagged for editorial attention to raise the quality. By contrast, high-ranking entries could be marked in some way as the definitive entry so that such an entry is not subsequently overwritten with lower quality information.

The team has tested its algorithm on sets of several hundred articles comparing the automated quality assessment by the computer with assessment by a human user. Their algorithm out-performs a human user by up to 23 percent in correctly classifying the quality rank of a given article in the set, the team reports. The use of a computerized system to provide a quality standard for Wikipedia entries would avoid the subjective need to have people classify each entry. It could thus improve the standard as well as provide a basis for an improved reputation for the online encyclopedia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jingyu Han, Kejia Chen. Ranking Wikipedia article's data quality by learning dimension distributions. International Journal of Information Quality, 2014; 3 (3): 207 DOI: 10.1504/IJIQ.2014.064056

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Computer program assesses quality of Wikipedia entries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806142211.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2014, August 6). Computer program assesses quality of Wikipedia entries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806142211.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Computer program assesses quality of Wikipedia entries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806142211.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oculus Reveals New Virtual Reality Headset Prototype

Oculus Reveals New Virtual Reality Headset Prototype

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Oculus announced a new virtual reality headset prototype Saturday, saying the product is close to being ready for consumers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Protect Your Data In The Still-Vulnerable iOS 8

How To Protect Your Data In The Still-Vulnerable iOS 8

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) One security researcher says despite Apple's efforts to increase security in iOS 8, it's still vulnerable to law enforcement data-transfer techniques. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Much Privacy Protection Will Google's Android L Provide?

How Much Privacy Protection Will Google's Android L Provide?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Google's local encryption will make it harder for law enforcement or malicious actors to access the contents of devices running Android L. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins