Incentive mechanism design to meet task criteria in crowdsourcing : How to determine your budget

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

25 Scopus Citations
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  • Weiwei Wu
  • Wanyuan Wang
  • Xiaolin Fang
  • Yichuan Jiang
  • Junzhou Luo

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-516
Journal / PublicationIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number2
Online published26 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


In crowdsourcing markets, a requester announces a task and calls for contribution from potential participants. With strategic participants, the requester needs to reward the participants to introduce the incentives of participation. However, it is natural to ask whether it is worth introducing incentives if the total payment for eliciting incentives is too high. This paper addresses such a fundamental concern by designing a frugal mechanism with minimum payment used to procure the total amount of service contributions demanded. We design two mechanisms to provide the incentives of participation while minimizing the payment used by the requester. We first propose a frugal auction-based mechanism, which stimulates participants to truthfully report their information. We theoretically prove that the payment used is not more than the optimal cost (with no incentive considered) plus a bounded additive. We then design a Stackelberg-game-based mechanism, in which the requester fixes a certain total payment at the very beginning so as to encourage the participants to compete for it and participate in the task. We verify the existence of a unique Nash equilibrium (NE) and develop a novel algorithm to find the NE, as well as the optimal payment to extract the NE. Our simulation results show that the payment used in these mechanisms is close to the optimal solution with no incentive considered, while the extra payment caused by introducing truthfulness in auction-based mechanism is about twice that of the NE in Stakelberg-game-based mechanism.

Research Area(s)

  • Crowdsourcing, fairness, frugality, Nash equilibrium, Stackelberg-game, truthful mechanism design

Citation Format(s)