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Cognitive Factors Affecting the Manufacturing Optimization Skills of Rural Indian BPO Workers

Vasantha, Gokula; Corney, Jonathan; Upadhyay, Chandra Kant


Jonathan Corney

Chandra Kant Upadhyay


Crowdsourcing offers on-demand access to large numbers of human workers to implement new forms of human–computer collaborative functionalities that can be seamlessly integrated into advanced software and algorithms. However, crowdsourcing tasks are primarily undertaken by urban rather than rural workers. To enable the development of skilled rural employment, this research aims to assess rural crowdsourcing workers’ spatial reasoning and creative abilities and their abilities to solve irregular strip packing problems associated with the manufacture of sheet materials. The study conducted experiments and data collection with 140 rural Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) workers located in six states of India. The statistical analyses of the data collected from seven rural BPO firms (140 rural workers) reveal that rural workers can achieve a 2D packing efficiency that is up to 8% higher than that of commercial algorithm outcomes. The results suggest that rural crowdsourcing can lead to effective job creation, skill development, and, for a modest cost, it can support industries that employ CAD/CAM systems to generate geometric data for common manufacturing processes.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 2, 2023
Online Publication Date Nov 9, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Nov 2, 2023
Publicly Available Date Nov 9, 2023
Electronic ISSN 2673-9585
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 626-641
Keywords Crowdsourcing, Creativity, Spatial Reasoning, Manufacturing Optimization, Business Process Outsourcing, Two-Dimensional Strip Packing Problem, Skillful Rural Digital Employment
Public URL


Cognitive Factors Affecting the Manufacturing Optimization Skills of Rural Indian BPO Workers (accepted version) (914 Kb)

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