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Forming Diverse Teams from Sequentially Arriving People

by   Faez Ahmed, et al.

Collaborative work often benefits from having teams or organizations with heterogeneous members. In this paper, we present a method to form such diverse teams from people arriving sequentially over time. We define a monotone submodular objective function that combines the diversity and quality of a team and propose an algorithm to maximize the objective while satisfying multiple constraints. This allows us to balance both how diverse the team is and how well it can perform the task at hand. Using crowd experiments, we show that, in practice, the algorithm leads to large gains in team diversity. Using simulations, we show how to quantify the additional cost of forming diverse teams and how to address the problem of simultaneously maximizing diversity for several attributes (e.g., country of origin, gender). Our method has applications in collaborative work ranging from team formation, the assignment of workers to teams in crowdsourcing, and reviewer allocation to journal papers arriving sequentially. Our code is publicly accessible for further research.


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