Google Research

Cross-replication Reliability - An Empirical Approach to Interpreting Inter-rater Reliability


When collecting annotations and labeled data from humans, a standard practice is to use inter-rater reliability (IRR) as a measure of data goodness (Hallgren, 2012). Metrics such as Krippendorff’s alpha or Cohen’s kappa are typically required to be above a threshold of 0.6 (Landis and Koch, 1977). These absolute thresholds are unreasonable for crowdsourced data from annotators with high cultural and training variances, especially on subjective topics. We present a new alternative to interpreting IRR that is more empirical and contextualized. It is based upon benchmarking IRR against baseline measures in a replication, one of which is a novel cross-replication reliability (xRR) measure based on Cohen’s (1960) kappa. We call this approach the xRR framework. We opensource a replication dataset of 4 million human judgements of facial expressions and analyze it with the proposed framework. We argue this framework can be used to measure the quality of crowdsourced datasets.

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