Estimating False Positive Contamination in Crater Annotations from Citizen Science Data

Paul Tar, R. Bugiolacchi, Neil Thacker, James Gilmour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Web-based citizen science often involves the classification of image features by large numbers of minimally trained volunteers, such as the identification of lunar impact craters under the Moon Zoo project. Whilst such approaches facilitate the analysis of large image data sets, the inexperience of users and ambiguity in image content can lead to contamination from false positive identifications. We give an approach, using Linear Poisson Models and image template matching, that can quantify levels of false positive contamination in citizen science Moon Zoo crater annotations. Linear Poisson Models are a form of machine learning which supports predictive error modelling and goodness-of-fits, unlike most alternative machine learning methods. The proposed supervised learning system can reduce the variability in crater counts whilst providing predictive error assessments of estimated quantities of remaining true verses false annotations. In an area of research influenced by human subjectivity, the proposed method provides a level of objectivity through the utilisation of image evidence, guided by candidate crater identifications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-63
Number of pages17
JournalEarth, Moon and Planets
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


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