CrowdDB – Answering Queries with Crowdsourcing

CrowdDB uses human input via crowdsourcing to process queries that neither database systems nor search engines can adequately answer. It uses SQL both as a language for posing complex queries and as a way to model data. While CrowdDB leverages many aspects of traditional database systems, there are also important differences. Conceptually, a major change is that the traditional closed-world assumption for query processing does not hold for human input. From an implementation perspective, human-oriented query operators are needed to solicit, integrate and cleanse crowdsourced data. Furthermore, performance and cost depend on a number of new factors including worker affinity, training, fatigue, motivation and location.

CrowdDB is being researched and built in collaboration with researchers at ETH Zurich.   An overview paper is available here.

Update: CrowdDB wins the Best Demo award at VLDB 2011.