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Writing The -5 system: A mathematical consideration

Arktor

Avatar: Schoolgirl Uniform
24

[Smooth Town Rebels]

Level 10 Camwhore

Medal Ninja

Let’s take an idea – we’ll call it a “pretty good” idea. Suppose that this “pretty good” idea would, given everyone’s votes, receive 300 votes up and 200 votes down, for a total score of +100. This means that 60% of people voted up, and 40% of people voted down. (Pbum votes have no effect on the score, or the data, and are therefore not counted.)

Then, bumuming that the order in which the voters vote to be completely random, there is an (0.4)^6 = 0.004096 chance that the first six votes will all be down, and the entry will be removed.

p = 0.004096

Furthermore, there is a chance that the idea will receive one up vote before being knocked down to -5 and taken out of consideration. This chance = (1 choose 6) * (0.6)(0.4)^7, where (1 choose 6) = 6: that is, there are six possible positions for the up vote, as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth vote. It cannot be the 7th or the 8th vote.

p = 0.00589824

Then, the chance of two positive votes and eight negative votes is:

p = ((2 choose 6)+6) * (0.6)^2 * (0.4)^8 = 21 * (0.6)^2 * (0.4)^8 = 0.0049545216

*Note that the 2 choose 6 accounts for the number of cases where both positive votes occur before the first 6 negative votes, and the +6 accounts for the cases where one of the positive votes occurs just before the seventh negative vote.

Similarly, one may continue onwards for increasing exponents, and one may also adjust the values of the probabilities of a positive or negative vote. Using these numbers, we obtain a final probability of being downvoted before getting 4 positive votes = 0.0049545216 + 0.00589824 + 0.004096 = 0.0149487616, or approximately 1.5%

Thus, we can clearly see that this “pretty good” idea, which I feel is reasonably deserving of not being immediately downvoted, has a 1.5% chance of not receiving even 4 positive votes. (I’d run the numbers, but I need to go atm) There is, of course, an even higher chance of it not receiving 10 positive votes. And thus I must ask: Does this indicate that an unacceptable proportion of “pretty good” ideas are not receiving fair consideration? The answer, of course, will depend on what the reader considers to be fair consideration. Still, there can be no doubt that reducing this proportion will increase the number of quality ideas being given fair consideration.

Note that while pbum votes affect the % of voters that vote up or down, it has no impact upon these numbers. One must consider the same series of votes with 1 pbum vote, with 2 pbum votes, with 3 pbum votes, etc, which sums back into exactly the percentage shown above.

Arktor edited this message on 03/24/2008 3:57PM

Pickled male reproductive organ-
bum

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47

[Board of Directors]

Level 10 Camwhore

AHAHA HEADSETS

the obvious answer is that voting is not random at all.

Bubo

Avatar: Denim Skirt
4

Level 18 Camwhore

“Playground Pin-Up”

I originally submitted this idea in the “How we plan to improve ForumBuildr!” thread, but it didn’t even receive one comment.

Instead of having the idea removed in it’s entirety when it hits -5, how about we move it to a “Recycle Bin” of some sort. Don’t allow -5 ideas to be voted on by the general public, but anyone who wants may wade into the recycle bin to review downvoted ideas. If they like an idea, they can Upvote it (there will be no downvote option). After the downvoted idea receives a threshold amount of Upvotes, it is returned to the general public voting again.

Basically, it preserves the attempt to keep the public from being swamped with idea after idea after idea, but allows for a recovery mechanism to counter chronic down-voters and bad luck.

protagonist

Avatar: Red Green Flashing

[Kings-O-Douche]

Level 13 Troll

Julian is a homo

We need to vote people off of this island.

protagonist edited this message on 03/24/2008 4:11PM

Bubo

Avatar: Denim Skirt
4

Level 18 Camwhore

“Playground Pin-Up”

Velveteen Posted:

the obvious answer is that voting is not random at all.

She’s not saying that the voting is random, but rather the order of votes. If an idea, over the course of 500 votes, is destined to receive 100 upvotes, then there is only a 1.5% chance that it’ll survive the first few votes to reach it’s full potential.

These numbers are arbitrary of course. To summarize, if an idea is good enough to actually be selected for the next forum, it still has only a 1.5% chance of surviving the first few votes. This is what seems to be annoying the forumbuildr population at the moment.

Bubo edited this message on 03/24/2008 4:15PM

Escher

Avatar: Escher's Avatar
13

[SRSLY]

Level 10 Camwhore

really huge titty ****

Bubo Posted:

She’s not saying that the voting is random, but rather the order of votes. If an idea, over the course of 500 votes, is destined to receive 100 upvotes, then there is only a 1.5% chance that it’ll survive the first few votes to reach it’s full potential.

Reverse that – it has a 1.5% chance of not surviving the first few votes.

I’d comment that the sample size is a little off – most thread titles and typical posts get in right now with a margin of 15 positive votes out of maybe 100 cast, making it a little more likely that a run of downvoters would kill something decent-but-not-great.

I like the idea of a recycling bin; the reduction of total submissions has made it less horrible to sort through everything everyone has submitted.

Amp Zaphrix

Avatar: Middle Finger
2

Level 10 Troll

“Pain in the ASCII”

protagonist Posted:

We need to vote people off of this island.

The tribe has spoken.

Abdullah_Obl-
ongata

Avatar: Denim Skirt

[Crotch Zombie]

Level 7 Camwhore

The Internet frightens me

As I see it, 2 big things seem to matter:

1. The forums end up with great content

2. Everyone gets to flex their creative muscle

The current system definitely achieves both of these. I don’t dispute that some pretty good ideas die early (I know some of my brilliant ideas get canned within minutes of submission). What I would challenge, however, is that the canning of pretty good ideas undermines the 2 big things mentioned above.

Suppose that there are only 15 thread titles that go into the forum. So we’d be talking about whether the buried submission would be much better than the 15th best thread title. If we’re talking about something that was down-voted a lot early on, we’re probably talking about an idea that, while pretty good, isn’t remarkable.

Now, supposing that the buried submission was actually better than the 15th one to make it, the real question becomes: how much better is it and is it worth building a system to re-introduce it? My suspicion is that even if it is better, it would only be negligibly better and not worth re-introducing.

Its also worth mentioning that most of the stuff that gets buried would just be buried again.

Summary: The current system meets the above criteria. The only other claim to be made is that it is unfair in terms of scoops. There might be legitimacy to that claim, but thats a whole different discussion.

Arktor

Avatar: Schoolgirl Uniform
24

[Smooth Town Rebels]

Level 10 Camwhore

Medal Ninja

Escher Posted:

Reverse that – it has a 1.5% chance of not surviving the first few votes.

I’d comment that the sample size is a little off – most thread titles and typical posts get in right now with a margin of 15 positive votes out of maybe 100 cast, making it a little more likely that a run of downvoters would kill something decent-but-not-great.

I like the idea of a recycling bin; the reduction of total submissions has made it less horrible to sort through everything everyone has submitted.

Alright, let’s run this.

60 positive votes

45 negative votes

p(negative) = 42.86% = 0.4286

p(0 positive votes) = 0.00619887673

p(1) = 0.00910870534

p(2) = 0.00780759182

p(3) = 0.00509892044

p(4) = 0.00280965604

sum = 0.0310237504 = 3.1% of submissions are voted down very quickly.

my_name_is_pearl Posted:

As I see it, 2 big things seem to matter:

1. The forums end up with great content

2. Everyone gets to flex their creative muscle

The current system definitely achieves both of these.

I agree that the current system achieves both of these. With all due respect, however, I disagree that these are what matter; if it’s relatively simple to improve the current system, why not improve it? Lowering the (-5) to (-10), or even just to (-6), would dramatically increase the odds that threads are given their due consideration. Furthermore, by increasing the longevity of forumbuildr ideas, the “scoop” problem is largely alleviated.

Of course, I recognize that it is known only to the crotch zombies to decide what’s “relatively simple” to implement.

Arktor edited this message on 03/24/2008 6:27PM

Pickled male reproductive organ-
bum

Avatar: Pickled Dickbutt's Avatar
47

[Board of Directors]

Level 10 Camwhore

AHAHA HEADSETS

my bad, I misread.

something must be off though because that chance is way lower than actuality.

Arktor

Avatar: Schoolgirl Uniform
24

[Smooth Town Rebels]

Level 10 Camwhore

Medal Ninja

Velveteen Posted:

my bad, I misread.

something must be off though because that chance is way lower than actuality.

I just ran the quick calculations for p(3) and p(4) for the original, and got an extra 0.5%, so make that 2%.

My math might potentially be wrong, too. If anyone wants to correct it, I’d be thrilled to re-learn the proper statistics.

Pickled male reproductive organ-
bum

Avatar: Pickled Dickbutt's Avatar
47

[Board of Directors]

Level 10 Camwhore

AHAHA HEADSETS

i just mean that it seems things get voted off really quick, with a greater than 2% chance of it.

vanessa

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2

Level 10 Troll

Hitler Cat Sez: Get in the Oven!

Velveteen Posted:

i just mean that it seems things get voted off really quick, with a greater than 2% chance of it.

I feel that way too, but I am open to the possibility that my ideas are not nearly as amusing as I think they are.

Opportunity

Avatar: Middle Finger Keyboard
8

Level 10 Troll

“Pain in the ASCII”

It appears Arktor just singlehandedly (insert masturbation joke here) just blew my mind (insert blowjob joke here) with a display of unexpected mathematic proficiency…this is the reason I’m an English major.

Sonpansatan

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2

Level 10 Troll

“Pain in the ASCII”

IMO, the danger isn’t that of random voting, it’s about 10 or so people systematically down-voting everyone’s submission except for theirs. Just a few sweeps a day could kill a lot of submissions before they can get off the ground. They don’t even have to be in cahoots, just douchebags.

Arktor

Avatar: Schoolgirl Uniform
24

[Smooth Town Rebels]

Level 10 Camwhore

Medal Ninja

Sonpansatan Posted:

IMO, the danger isn’t that of random voting, it’s about 10 or so people systematically down-voting everyone’s submission except for theirs. Just a few sweeps a day could kill a lot of submissions before they can get off the ground. They don’t even have to be in cahoots, just douchebags.

Systematic downvoting is taken into account. Random voting isn’t – the “random” element is merely a probability. Say you have 100 systematic downvoters, 100 people who genuinely dislike an idea, 250 people who genuinely like it, and 50 systematic upvoters. Then if you pick any voter at random, they have a 60% chance to have voted up and a 40% chance to have voted down. The voting isn’t random, but the voter is.

However, data suggests that there are a lot more systematic downvoters active on Sunday than on Monday. This is NOT taken into account. If anyone wants to calculate this, please do.

Kerridwen_Ka-
li

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2

Level 29 Emo Kid

I HEART CANADIANS!

Man, you camwhores are smarter than you look. Log in to see images!

SuperHappyFu-
nKitty

Avatar: 26050 Sat Oct 18 22:48:59 -0400 2008
15

[ONE HUNDRED PERCEN-
T ACTION KLAN
]

Level 35 Troll

“Problem Child IV”

Heres the math:

Pretty good idea + complete idiots who downvote everything = -5

Log in to see images! = teh win

-5 = Log in to see images!

Skyreal

Avatar: Boobs
8

Level 24 Camwhore

“The Lady is a Tramp”

IMHO the removal of submissions at -5 total votes is redundant, with the recent introduction of limits to submissions, and the fact that higher rated submissions have a higher chance of appearing.

Skyreal edited this message on 03/28/2008 4:59PM

ravenblooDDa-
rkdreams

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1

[Team AWESOME]

Level 10 Emo Kid

“Gloomy Gus”

Skyreal Posted:

IMHO the removal of submissions at -5 total votes is redundant, with the recent introduction of limits to submissions, and the fact that higher rated submissions have a higher chance of appearing.

This is a good point, actually- it might be a good idea to drop the -5 threshold to, say, -8 what with the submission limits keeping everything at a reasonable level.

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