Harnessing engagement for knowledge creation acceleration in collaborative Q&A systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Thanks to reputation and gamification mechanisms, collaborative question answering systems coordinate the process of topical knowledge creation of thousands of users.While successful, these systems face many challenges: on one hand, the volume of submitted questions overgrows the amount of new users willing, and capable, of answering them. On the other hand, existing users need to be retained and optimally allocated. Previous work demonstrates the positive effects that two important aspects, namely engagement and expertise valorisation, can have on user quality and quantity of participation. The magnitude of their effect can greatly vary across users and across topics. In this paper we advocate for a more in-depth study of the interplay that exists between user engagement factors in question answering systems. Our working hypothesis is that the process of knowledge creation can be accelerated by better understanding and exploiting the combined effects of the interests and expertise of users, with their intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. We perform a study over 6 years of data from the StackOverflow platform. By defining metrics of expertise and (intrinsic and extrinsic) motivations, we show how they distribute and correlate across platform’s users and topics. By means of an off-line question routing experiment, we show how topic-specific combinations of motivations and expertise can help accelerating the knowledge creation process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUser Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization
Subtitle of host publication23rd International Conference, UMAP 2015, Proceedings
EditorsFrancesco Ricci, Kalina Bontcheva, Owen Conlan, Séamus Lawless
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-20267-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-20266-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventUMAP 2015: 23rd International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 29 Jun 20153 Jul 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceUMAP 2015


  • Intrinsic Motivation
  • Knowledge Creation
  • Extrinsic Motivation
  • Question Answering
  • User Engagement


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