Massively Collaborative Problem Solving: New Security Solutions and New Security Risks
We present the initial discoveries from an investigation of massively collaborative problem solving (MCPS) assembled from two independent projects attempting to foster large scale distributed collaboration to solve complex problems, including those relevant to local and national security. Two preliminary investigations for a DARPA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program are discussed herein. Instead of a linear approach to problem solving, in which many people are asked to perform a similar task until consensus is reached, the described problem solving environments encourage deep reasoning to emerge by combining small contributions from many individuals to solve dynamic and previously unsolved problems. The environments encourage problem solvers to decompose a complex problem into parts so that it can be solved by a community with diverse skills and experiences. Social consensus then plays a role in crafting the aggregate solution. However, as the number of collaborators goes up, the number of disruptive attempts by malicious individuals to derail the solution may also increase. We discuss potential applications of MCPS for security and intelligence, and system security issues MCPS must address.
PDF document is available at Security Informatics