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 Total daily scores/averages 
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Posted on: Sun Sep 11, 2011 10:24 pm




Posts: 43
Location: Tacoma, WA, USA
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 4:03 am
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
Thank you, Starling, for the information, thought, and analysis. Very interesting and informative. (Sneaklyfox’s from a couple days earlier, too.) I’m puzzled, though, at your conclusion that your data doesn’t support the concern over the advantage timed puzzle points provide. It seems to me it screams out loud and clear about that advantage. More about that in a minute …

But the good news is that we agree on the solution – separate out the points by creating more than one ranking system. I vote whole-heartedly in favor of your suggestion for three separate rankings: timed, untimed, and combined. That would solve the problem to a tee. We just need to lobby Sir Patrick to make that addition!

For what it’s worth, your data and Sneaklyfox’s info demonstrate my concern very dramatically. Assuming your information is correct (I don’t follow the timed points), there are four or five people on each list who averaged five to ten points a day on timed puzzles. That’s, what, 35 to 70 points for seven days. (Sneaklyfox confirmed that with 69 points in seven days, and in your case you indicate it’s even higher.) That’s a HUGE advantage over the 400 or so points that are available from the untimed in seven days.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not opposed to the idea of timed puzzles. If people enjoy those, more power to them. I’m just advocating (and seconding your motion) that timed and untimed points be separated.

I don’t see any practical relevance that averages have in the situation. Each person is competing with individual players, not with an average. The example you gave of your situation is a good illustration. You expressed frustration that danvijan was ahead of you by using book puzzles. If I calculated that the average number of book puzzle points among the top group was lower than danvijan’s, would that allay your concern? Of course not. You’re not competing with an average; you’re competing (in this context) with danvijan.

The same is true in my situation. I’m comparing my scores to other individuals on the three lists, not to an average. The fact that some don’t get points from timed puzzles, pulling down the average of timed points, doesn’t change the fact that several of them DO get many points that way, giving them a major advantage.

My equivalent of your danvijan example is the overall list. Until the timed puzzles were added, one small satisfaction I had was that there was no one in front of me on the overall list with the same or a smaller number of days – I was at least doing as well or better than the people who started at the same time or later.

But now with the timed points, later starters have gone sprinting past me … and not just at a gradual pace but with a whoosh that blows the decals off my car! And others are on the way. That may have happened anyway, of course; they might be ahead of me even with the timed puzzles taken out. But I’d at least like to be able to make that apples to apples comparison, rather than having it be apples to oranges (or in this case more like kangaroos to catfish or bicycles to brick walls … confessing but then leaving aside my prejudice that timed and untimed puzzles do not at all have the same redeeming social value).

Thanks again for your thought and the discussion. Very useful and interesting. rossiniman


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:57 am




Posts: 175
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:11 am
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
rossiniman wrote:
But the good news is that we agree on the solution – separate out the points by creating more than one ranking system. I vote whole-heartedly in favor of your suggestion for three separate rankings: timed, untimed, and combined. That would solve the problem to a tee. We just need to lobby Sir Patrick to make that addition!
That's true, though I also think it's crucial to make sure that the combined rank is the one that most people see so that they can be held equal and only people who truly don't care about one or the other will make the effort to go and see the split rankings.

rossiniman wrote:
For what it’s worth, your data and Sneaklyfox’s info demonstrate my concern very dramatically. Assuming your information is correct (I don’t follow the timed points), there are four or five people on each list who averaged five to ten points a day on timed puzzles. That’s, what, 35 to 70 points for seven days. (Sneaklyfox confirmed that with 69 points in seven days, and in your case you indicate it’s even higher.) That’s a HUGE advantage over the 400 or so points that are available from the untimed in seven days.


It's an advantage in terms of points generated from solely that, but it's not statistically an advantage towards getting into the top 10, since it's split 40-40-20 in terms of 35-70 a week, 0-5 a week, and 5-35 a week. Admittedly, there are fewer people who get that many timed points per week. That's why I also included the statistic about people who represent the top 5 in points scored for timed puzzles over those two days. Only two of them (Three if you count me -- I wasn't in the top 10 when I wrote the stats originally, but I've started working all the untimed again except the 12x12's and I'm back in 10th.), meaning 40%-60% of that top 5 aren't in the top 10 of the rankings. The other thing is that you can get 3 points/day from the timed puzzles by simply working them, which cuts the advantage of those 35/week scorers to 14/week, which is negligible. Yesterday everyone who solved a 6x6 got at least 1 point, 1 person who solved a 5x5 didn't score a point, and 5 who solved 4x4's didn't score.

rossiniman wrote:
I don’t see any practical relevance that averages have in the situation. Each person is competing with individual players, not with an average. The example you gave of your situation is a good illustration. You expressed frustration that danvijan was ahead of you by using book puzzles. If I calculated that the average number of book puzzle points among the top group was lower than danvijan’s, would that allay your concern? Of course not. You’re not competing with an average; you’re competing (in this context) with danvijan.

The reason I used the averages was because we should be making rules based off the averages, since to do anything different seems to target individuals. As for my frustration with the book puzzles, part of that's because I don't necessarily consider book puzzles to be a legitimate source of points because they're even less equal access than the timed puzzles.
rossiniman wrote:
The same is true in my situation. I’m comparing my scores to other individuals on the three lists, not to an average. The fact that some don’t get points from timed puzzles, pulling down the average of timed points, doesn’t change the fact that several of them DO get many points that way, giving them a major advantage.
I guess my point on this is that there are enough individuals who don't get timed points doing well that it can't really be claimed as a major disadvantage.

rossiniman wrote:
My equivalent of your danvijan example is the overall list. Until the timed puzzles were added, one small satisfaction I had was that there was no one in front of me on the overall list with the same or a smaller number of days – I was at least doing as well or better than the people who started at the same time or later.

But now with the timed points, later starters have gone sprinting past me … and not just at a gradual pace but with a whoosh that blows the decals off my car! And others are on the way. That may have happened anyway, of course; they might be ahead of me even with the timed puzzles taken out. But I’d at least like to be able to make that apples to apples comparison, rather than having it be apples to oranges (or in this case more like kangaroos to catfish or bicycles to brick walls … confessing but then leaving aside my prejudice that timed and untimed puzzles do not at all have the same redeeming social value).

Thanks again for your thought and the discussion. Very useful and interesting. rossiniman

I totally understand your frustration with being caught, and since you have no interest in the timed puzzles, that's actually a major part of why I agree with that they should be separated, acknowledging that there are people with interest only in one type or the other.

In interest of full disclosure, in the past week I have 96 points from timed puzzles, which is one of the best series I've ever had, but that's compared to July 21-27 before Patrick changed the point structure when I scored 189.

As for when this will actually be put in place(Hopefully alongside more timed puzzles), Patrick appears to have a very full slate coming up with the new Facebook requirements and the new book, so I'm not going to hurry him on this at all.


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:03 am




Posts: 422
Location: Canada
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
starling wrote:
The reason I used the averages was because we should be making rules based off the averages, since to do anything different seems to target individuals. As for my frustration with the book puzzles, part of that's because I don't necessarily consider book puzzles to be a legitimate source of points because they're even less equal access than the timed puzzles.


I don't see how book puzzles are even less equal access than the timed puzzles. Access to points, that is, which is what is in debate. Of course they're "accessible" meaning you don't have to pay to do them, but not everyone who does them gets points. Book puzzles, on the other hand, award every person the same number of points for a solution provided you buy the book in the first place.


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:06 am




Posts: 422
Location: Canada
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
I forgot to mention this...

starling how could you possibly get 96 points from the last week from timed puzzles? At maximum you could only get 15 points a day for being top in each of the 3 categories. That's 7x15=95 for a week which is max.


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:20 am




Posts: 175
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:11 am
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
sneaklyfox wrote:
starling wrote:
The reason I used the averages was because we should be making rules based off the averages, since to do anything different seems to target individuals. As for my frustration with the book puzzles, part of that's because I don't necessarily consider book puzzles to be a legitimate source of points because they're even less equal access than the timed puzzles.


I don't see how book puzzles are even less equal access than the timed puzzles. Access to points, that is, which is what is in debate. Of course they're "accessible" meaning you don't have to pay to do them, but not everyone who does them gets points. Book puzzles, on the other hand, award every person the same number of points for a solution provided you buy the book in the first place.


They're only accessible to people who have the books on hand, which involves either having the book at your local bookstore (Which a small University campus bookstore never would.), or ordering the book, which involves having a credit card (Which I don't). I mean, the points themselves are completely accessible once you have the puzzles, the only issue is getting to the puzzles themselves, which I can't as things are right now, though I imagine my situation is fairly unique. If nothing else, there's the people who either haven't ordered the books yet or are waiting for them to arrive. Timed puzzles are always accessible, whether or not the points are. I am, however, getting the books when I go home for Christmas, and I don't object to book puzzles being included so long as there are enough timed points available to make them negligible.

As for how I got 96 in the past week, the max is 15*7, which is 105, not 95... I've been second 4 times, 3-5 once, and 6-10 once in the past week. The others have all been first.


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:42 am




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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
sneaklyfox wrote:
That's 7x15=95 for a week which is max.

At least now we know why you're not number 1 :D


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:59 pm




Posts: 693
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 6:51 pm
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
rossiniman wrote:
… But the good news is that we agree on the solution – separate out the points by creating more than one ranking system. I vote whole-heartedly in favor of your suggestion for three separate rankings: timed, untimed, and combined. That would solve the problem to a tee. We just need to lobby Sir Patrick to make that addition!...


I also agree with your point of view. Undoubtedly the actual statistics (including average) are much better than the original ones (statistics referring to unregistered people solving puzzles, or type of browser, etc.., were not very significative, well in the beginning, those have already disappeared). Patrick has worked a lot improving actual lists (scrolling bars, more tables like the "number of consecutive days", introducing five types of timed rankings, etc.). However, since the introduction of book solutions and timed puzzles, looks like some additonal information is needed, like those individualized rankings for untimed, timed, book, combined, etc.. In the past I even suggested to include in "your history" the timed points (as it is actually being done with book solutions and bonus points). I am conscious of the great effort that making any modification to the software represents (for every new feature introduced) so I understand we must be patient. But when the moment of reconfiguring all the statistics comes, I have two additional ideas:

1. To introduce a "last 6 months" and "last 365 days" rankings (because there is people that, i.e., commenced in November 2010 with the original page but actually are not active puzzlers or have abandon definitively our "club").

2. To introduce a second (200 days) "number of consecutive days" ranking.

3. To introduce something (that I already suggested in the past) that in my opinion could be an interesting idea: the "Guiness record", the historical "best time" but in solving untimed (for each category, mainly in the higher categories, 8x8 medium, 8x8 difficult, 9x9, 10x10 and 12x12 and other in the future, actually five additional rankings). Even considering the fact that in different parts of the world people solves at different times, perhaps the "competitive spirit", to be the "first" in those rankings could motivate people to sacrifice some sleep.

A lot of work for Patrick, certainly, since probably it would require unify, reconfigure and "nesting" the rankings. (By the way, particularly myself I am more interested in having fun with that new "12x12 only" puzzles book, 101? 16 "bonus" points?).


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 1:22 pm




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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:58 pm
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
clm wrote:
A lot of work for Patrick, certainly, since probably it would require unify, reconfigure and "nesting" the rankings. (By the way, particularly myself I am more interested in having fun with that new "12x12 only" puzzles book, 101? 16 "bonus" points?).

First I want to figure out how to best display this breakdown of untimed/timed/book puzzles.

I'm also still undecided about whether to award points for the puzzles in the new book (I suppose
that if a points breakdown is in place, this is easier to accept).

Wrt. the SSL certificate, this should be in place now, so (hopefully) https://www.calcudoku.org should
work for people without browser warnings (this is not really important, I only need it for the facebook link).

Patrick


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:05 pm




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Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:15 pm
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
pnm wrote:
sneaklyfox wrote:
That's 7x15=95 for a week which is max.

At least now we know why you're not number 1 :D

If there's one thing I've learned from calcudoku, it's that a 3-cell 105* cage contains a 3, a 5 and a 7. And yet, I read 7*15=95 and rolled right past it. I assumed a typo on Starling's part which now seems just silly. Taking 96 out of 105 points leaves little room for typos.

On a side note, I'll file away 95* = 5, 19 for whenever Patrick implements 19x19 or larger puzzles. Talk about a marathon...


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Posted on: Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:19 pm




Posts: 422
Location: Canada
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: Total daily scores/averages
Uh yeah... 7x15=95... Hahhhhh... I can't believe I did that. Or no, I can. I'm well known for making stupid mistakes. :P

But really... I have one very good excuse for being dumb and slow lately. I'm pregnant with our #3 kid and feeling quite fatigued.


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