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Computer Assisted Community Adjudication Disclosure Number: IPCOM000212572D
Publication Date: 2011-Nov-15
Document File: 2 page(s) / 30K

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Website administration and, in particular, adjudication of disputes, is one of the biggest bottlenecks in web communities today. Most solutions that exist do not scale with the size of a community. The bigger the community, either the more is spent on administration and dispute resolution, or the lower the quality of this service. This article describes a formal method whereby the users of a community can be leveraged in a structured way to participate in administration. This builds community, and increases the quality of service while not consuming more resources of the website owner.

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Computer Assisted Community Adjudication

This invention describes a structured system for formalizing decision making in web communities. It enables decisions that are subjective and can only be made by humans, to be conducted in an organized, clear and transparent way. Checks and balances can be introduced so that all are aware of the exact process followed. This can be used to adjudicate disputes, automate enforcement of rules, vote for administrators or rule changes, or in any way formalize how subjective decisions are made.

The crux of the invention is the creation and maintenance of Legislative Workflows. These are nuggets that describe a process for managing the resolution of a decision. What starts the process will vary in what it is being used to adjudicate. Numerous elements of the process can be enhanced with site specifics. But the overall flow and structure is fixed. There are several basic phases:

Evidence Collection - Materials necessary to the case are collected into a case folder. This is the






for something simple like sending each juror an e-mail, or complicated as in a system where jury duty is not optional, they may have their account put into a limited availability.

Jury Deliberation - Where jury deliberation is allowed, communication forums are set up and maintained for the deliberation period. The types of deliberation (e.g. private discussion forum, chat room, anonymous e-mail list) is site specific.

Jury Results Collection - Jurors are required to make their decisions at this point. It may be a simple


thumbs up or thumbs down, or a greater selection of answers may be given. The options are limited to results that can be computationally analyzed. E.g. a multiple choice selection rather than an essay question.

Resolution Actions - The Jury results are tabulated and processed. An outcome is determined and actions taken to enforce. The types of actions that can be conducted are site specific.

Jury Unsequester Actions - This is an action list similar to Jury Sequester actions to allow for actions taken at that time to be undone.

The site administration will define these Legislative Workflows. The Legislative Workflows will be connected in to the community at appropriate points. For example, a Legislative Workflow may be created to govern the approval of new users. The user registration process would be enhanced to kick off this workflow once a prospective user has completed their application form.

This process addresses many of the limitations of the other systems:
Programmatic enforcement has the disadvantage of not being able to make subjective decisions. The Legislative Workflow process involves humans in the decision and can be used to make subjective decisions.

Direct human enforcement does not scale. Since the Legislative Workflow process leverages the user community itself, it scales much better.

Direct human enforcement puts administrators in the role of being the sole dictators. The Leg...