WikiSim: simulating knowledge collection and curation in structured wikis

Luna De Ferrari, Stuart Aitken, Jano van Hemert, Igor Goryanin

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this work is to model quantitatively one of the main properties of wikis: how high quality knowledge can emerge from the individual work of independent volunteers. The approach chosen is to simulate knowledge collection and curation in wikis. The basic model represents the wiki as a set of of true/false values, added and edited at each simulation round by soft- ware agents (users) following a fixed set of rules. The re- sulting WikiSim simulations already manage to reach distri- butions of edits and user contributions very close to those reported for Wikipedia. WikiSim can also span conditions not easily measurable in real-life wikis, such as the impact of various amounts of user mistakes. WikiSim could be extended to model wiki software fea- tures, such as discussion pages and watch lists, while moni- toring the impact they have on user actions and consensus, and their effect on knowledge quality. The method could also be used to compare wikis with other curation scenarios based on centralised editing by experts. The future chal- lenges for WikiSim will be to find appropriate ways to eval- uate and validate the models and to keep them simple while still capturing relevant properties of wiki systems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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