[RC5] Stats suggestion

Ben Clifford benc at hawaga.org.uk
Fri Jan 5 17:31:23 EST 2001

On Fri, 5 Jan 2001, Michael Pelletier wrote:

> The only time you'd have to pull
> values from every day under consideration is the first time you generate
> these values for the database, unless you wanted to just start from
> square one and ignore historical data, and let it build up over the days
> and weeks.  Just seed yesterday's exponential average with yesterday's
> value modified by some factor, or zero, and let it roll forward.

Indeed, no matter what starting value you choose, the result will
eventually reach the right value.

I would suggest, as a low-processing way of doing it, seeding everyone's
result with their past n days of data, where n is something around the
half-life. This would produce a value that is "about

For new contestants, there is a decision to be made whether to seed them
at 0 or at their first days rate. 

Starting at 0 will take them a while to get up to their correct average,
but will take into account the fact that they have been doing nothing for
the time before they started. 

Starting at their first days rate would allow someone to build up a lot of
keys offline and submit them all on their first day, allowing them to
"spam" the stats (as can happen now). However, it puts honest new
participants in a fairer position as they will start around the correct
rate rather than have to spend several multiples of the half life getting
up to a decent value.

So I would probably vote for the second option.

http://www.hawaga.org.uk/travel/ for my rotating world map applet
http://www.hawaga.org.uk/benc_key.txt PGP / GPG key 0x30F06950 - please use it!

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