Mobile crowdsourcing: framework, challenges, and solutions

Yufeng Wang*, Xueyu Jia, Qun Jin, Jianhua Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Crowdsourcing is the generalized act of outsourcing tasks, traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to a large group of Internet population through an open call. With the great development of smartphones with rich built-in sensors and multiple ratio interfaces, mixing smartphone-based mobile technologies and crowdsourcing offers significant flexibilities and leads to a new paradigm called mobile crowdsourcing (MCS), which can be fully explored for real-time and location-sensitive crowdsourced tasks. In this paper, we present a taxonomy for the MCS applications, which are explicitly divided as using human as sensors, and exploiting the wisdom of crowd (i.e., human intelligence). Moreover, two paradigms for mobilizing users in MCS are outlined: direct mode and word of mouth mode. A comprehensive MCS framework and typical workflow of MCS applications are proposed, which consist of nine functional modules, pertaining to three stakeholders in MCS: crowdsourcer, crowdworkers, and crowdsourcing platform. Then, we elaborate the MCS challenges including task management, incentives, security and privacy, and quality control, and summarize the corresponding solutions. Especially, from the viewpoints of various stakeholders, we propose the desired properties that an ideal MCS system should satisfy. The primary goal of this paper is to comprehensively classify and provide a summary on MCS framework, challenges, and possible solutions to highlight the MCS related research topics and facilitate to develop and deploy interesting MCS applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3789
JournalConcurrency Computation Practice and Experience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 10


  • incentive mechanisms
  • mobile crowdsourcing (MCS)
  • quality control
  • word of mouth (WoM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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