Speak your weight
Following Anze’s post we’ve had a number of requests from people to see their weighting. Indeed we did think about this for a bit, but alas I reckon it’s a bad idea to publish users weights for a number of reasons – but mainly because it is very unclear what the weights really say about a user. For example, a user might be really upset to see that they have a low-weighting, indicating that they often disagree with the majority of people (if we use a democratic weighting scheme). They might then try to alter their classifying behaviour so to ‘improve’ their weighting. This would be disastrous, because perhaps they are actually excellent at classifying, and much more meticulous than the majority of other users. In this case a low weighting would be good! The majority ain’t always right, right?!
If providing this kind of feedback was to have any effect then this would be bad – because it would mean our data becomes correlated in complicated ways that we can’t trace i.e. the results from one week can affect the next week. Ultimately everyone will want to up their weighting, and I can imagine a horrible situation where everyone just clicks elliptical all the time! Because this would give everyone great weightings – but completely ruin the project!
Therefore, you see that knowing your weight can only have a bad effect (if it isn’t going to have an effect then there’s no need to know 😉 ). Ideally we don’t want anything to have an effect on you – we want everything to be as unbiased and open and transparent as possible when it comes to analysing the results.
Plus the weights change all the time, as more classifications are made and it is computationally very intensive to compute them. Further, there’s an infinite number of ways of working out the weightings! We could see how well you agree with each other for just the bright galaxies, or how well you agree with an ‘expert’. But the point of all this is that we do not know the true morphology of these galaxies – and therefore we cannot give you a true weight (ie. how well you are classifying).
I hope that helps to explain our situation a bit! I appreciate that it must be a bit frustrating not to get more feedback on your classifications. Perhaps when this phase of the project is wrapped up then we can feedback more… and ultimately all this data is probably going to be made public! Cheers, Kate