Gravity Spy: Humans, machines and the future of citizen science

Publication Type:



ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017), Portland, OR (2017)


Gravity Spy is a citizen science project that draws on the contributions of both humans and machines to achieve its scientific goals. The system supports the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) by classifying “glitches” that interfere with observations. The system makes three advances on the current state of the art: explicit training for new volunteers, synergy between machine and human classification and support for discovery of new classes of glitch. As well, it provides a platform for human-centred computing research on motivation, learning and collaboration. The system has been launched and is currently in operation.

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