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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1426;

Do Monetary Incentives Influence Users’ Behavior in Participatory Sensing?

GEOTEC, Institute of New Imaging Technologies (INIT), Universitat Jaume I, 12071 Castellón, Spain
Institute for Geoinformatics, Universität Münster, 48149 Münster, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 4 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities)
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Participatory sensing combines the powerful sensing capabilities of current mobile devices with the mobility and intelligence of human beings, and as such has to potential to collect various types of information at a high spatial and temporal resolution. Success, however, entirely relies on the willingness and motivation of the users to carry out sensing tasks, and thus it is essential to incentivize the users’ active participation. In this article, we first present an open, generic participatory sensing framework (Citizense) which aims to make participatory sensing more accessible, flexible and transparent. Within the context of this framework we adopt three monetary incentive mechanisms which prioritize the fairness for the users while maintaining their simplicity and portability: fixed micro-payment, variable micro-payment and lottery. This incentive-enabled framework is then deployed on a large scale, real-world case study, where 230 participants were exposed to 44 different sensing campaigns. By randomly distributing incentive mechanisms among participants and a subset of campaigns, we study the behaviors of the overall population as well as the behaviors of different subgroups divided by demographic information with respect to the various incentive mechanisms. As a result of our study, we can conclude that (1) in general, monetary incentives work to improve participation rate; (2) for the overall population, a general descending order in terms of effectiveness of the incentive mechanisms can be established: fixed micro-payment first, then lottery-style payout and finally variable micro-payment. These two conclusions hold for all the demographic subgroups, even though different different internal distances between the incentive mechanisms are observed for different subgroups. Finally, a negative correlation between age and participation rate was found: older participants contribute less compared to their younger peers. View Full-Text
Keywords: participatory sensing; monetary incentive; user behavior; user engagement; smart city participatory sensing; monetary incentive; user behavior; user engagement; smart city

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Khoi, N.M.; Casteleyn, S.; Moradi, M.M.; Pebesma, E. Do Monetary Incentives Influence Users’ Behavior in Participatory Sensing? Sensors 2018, 18, 1426.

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