Collaborative Intelligence Analysis with CACHE: Bias Reduction and Information Coverage
By: Matt Haines
Gregorio Convertino, Dorrit Billman, Peter Pirolli, JP Masur, and Jeff Shrager created a virtual environment to conduct standard analysis of competing hypotheses(ACH) and then they analyzed the effects of that environment. The authors begin by defining CACHE as a collaborative analysis of competing hypotheses environment. Then, they explain the difficulties an analyst faces in everyday intelligence tasks. An analyst is faced with tasks that span a vast multitude of areas of expertise on a daily basis and biases influence all of those analytical products. The authors then go into detail of what the CACHE framework actually does in order to combat this challenge. CACHE allows a user to search through all available evidence, input that evidence into a personal ACH matrix, view other team members ACH matrix, and communicate with other team members through an instant messaging system.
Before completing the actual test of the CACHE framework, the authors hypothesized that:
Heterogeneous groups would show less confirmation bias than Homogeneous groups. Because CACHE supports sharing information among participants, the differing views in the heterogeneous groups should mitigate cognitive biases by 1) exposure to more, and less-biased, evidence and 2) access to alternative analyses provided by partners.
and that, “Heterogeneous groups would show no net process loss relative to the Solo/Nominal Group. CACHE will mitigate the process costs, producing equivalent or better performance in heterogeneous groups.” The results of the experiments were concurrent with the authors’ hypotheses.
Critique:The CACHE framework is a great idea and prototype for groups where not every person can be in the same location at the same time. However, the authors of this paper did not do much to actually prove anything. This paper laid out a product. It did not add to the ACH process nor did it attempt to contest normal assumptions of ACH. However, CACHE has achieved something just by allowing analysts to be in two different places at once and collaborate with each other. This feature can help eliminate some group think biases because it takes some power away from those members of the team who are better presenters. For example, one of the major complaints many international students have, is that they feel like their ideas are not heard, because they cannot vocally command a room. By allowing analysts to work remotely, international students can have the same voice as a native english speaker.