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Elo Chess Rating System Topped By Proposed Replacements

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the how-'bout-a-good-scrabble-rating-system dept.

Classic Games (Games) 102

databuff writes "About six weeks ago, Slashdot reported a competition to find a chess rating algorithm that performed better than the official Elo rating system. The competition has just reached the halfway mark and the best entries have outperformed Elo by over 8 per cent. The leader is a Portuguese physicist, followed by an Israeli mathematician and then a pair of American computer scientists."

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Sweet (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659010)

Castle this.

Re:Sweet (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660574)

i think you mean: castRelo this!

The leader is after all a portRugese person from portRugal.....

what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659046)

physicist owned a mathematician :D

Re:what now? (5, Interesting)

cappp (1822388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659116)

To be fair that owning represents a difference of 0.000629 in the RMSE between the two of them - hardly the sound thrashing those snooty mathematicians rightly deserve.

Re:what now? (3, Funny)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659144)

Yes, I agree. We should also fight amongst professions because we simply do not have enough to fight about.

Long live Physicists and they physicisteries!

Re:what now? (5, Funny)

cappp (1822388) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659170)

Whoah there partner, we don't want a full-scale fight between all professions - some of those guys are pretty buff. Pick off the mathematicians and physicists first because the law of the playground must be respected - the small, weak, bifocaled, or curiously gifted with numbers should be taken down first. Then nap time.

Re:what now? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659410)

How many people in a playground wear bifocals?! (Teachers don't count.)

Re:what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659834)

That's determined by natural selection and how insulated the environment is

In the Bronx ? none
In Pelosi's garden ? everyone

Re:what now? (3, Informative)

sleeping143 (1523137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660274)

Careful, those physicists have arsenals of powerful lasers at their disposal...

Re:what now? (3, Insightful)

Another, completely (812244) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660448)

But do they have sharks on which to mount them?

Re:what now? (2, Informative)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660958)

"But do they have sharks on which to mount them?"

We must avoid them teaming to Biologists at all costs!

Re:what now? (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 4 years ago | (#33667272)

Whatever you do, do not piss off the janitors.

Re:what now? (1)

nusuth (520833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659972)

Written like an engineer. To the mathematician the magnitude does not mean a thing, the ordering does.

Re:what now? (1)

Kiraxa (1840002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659464)

not suprising, the elo system was made by a physics professor.

Re:what now? (2, Informative)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659992)

Yeah, and his name is Él(Lowercase O-double acute), not Elo, but I understand that "hungarian umlauts" causes significant cognitive stress :)

Even for Slashdot it seems...

Re:what now? (2, Informative)

mutu310 (1546975) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660052)

Actually he was born Él Árpád Imre but changed his name to a more Americanized Arpad Emrick Elo.

Re:what now? (1)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660534)

It is funny that Slashdot swallows hungarian characters: "Él" is certainly not what you wanted to write :)

Re:what now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33661754)

Huh?

I thought the ELO [allmusic.com] system was made by Jeff Lynne.

Re:what now? (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#33667854)

Wake me up when a biologist puts in a credible challenge.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659134)

Interesting... But how does it perform against the Turk? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659148)

This is chess rating algorithm. The goal is to predict given a matchup between two players with known histories how they will likely fare in a game or series of games against each other. Elo is the standard rating system and has been for some time. These algorithms are improvements on that. So they predict better who will win. They have nothing to do with playing actual chess. So the Turk is irrelevant to this discussion (aside from the not minor issue that the operator has been dead for some time.)

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659494)

So the Turk is irrelevant to this discussion (aside from the not minor issue that the operator has been dead for some time.)

THEN WHO WAS PAWN!??

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33662010)

One interesting issue here is that Elo is a measure past performance used to infer predicted performance. I may be making this distinction based on looking at American college football too much, but it is worth considering the distinction between someone who is very talented but has not achieved much yet and someone who has achieved a lot in the past, but whose skills are decaying. This holds more for other games in which Elo is used where skills both increase and decrease over time rather than mostly increasing.

Re:Interesting (1)

neo (4625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33663702)

This is chess rating algorithm. The goal is to predict given a matchup between two players with known histories how they will likely fare in a game or series of games against each other. Elo is the standard rating system and has been for some time. These algorithms are improvements on that. So they predict better who will win. They have nothing to do with playing actual chess. So the Turk is irrelevant to this discussion (aside from the not minor issue that the operator has been dead for some time.)

You don't understand, the winning system is using a midget to guess the outcomes.

Errata (1)

Nuno Sa (1095047) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659226)

"Portrugese"?
Did you mean "Portuguese"? :-)

Re:Errata (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659324)

Did you mean "Erratum"?

Re:Errata (4, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659354)

Not any more.

Re:Errata (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659446)

No, Portrugal. Between Spairn and the Atlantirc.

Re:Errata (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660594)

Not if you're from the west-country.... Reminds me of the graffiti outside my old school that simply read: "Nirvarnar"

Can't be so (5, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659282)

A friend called my on my telephone line and told me out of the blue that the Elo rating system had been bested. I was so stunned I almost turned to stone. I said, "Dude, don't bring me down!". But the news slowly sunk in, and now I can't get it out of my head. But I'll tell you what, the jury is still out. I think there's gonna be a showdown, and then Elo will be back on top.

Re:Can't be so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659366)

This must be a night of fear.

Re:Can't be so (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659432)

A friend called my on my telephone line and told me out of the blue that the Elo rating system had been bested. I was so stunned I almost turned to stone. I said, "Dude, don't bring me down!". But the news slowly sunk in, and now I can't get it out of my head. But I'll tell you what, the jury is still out. I think there's gonna be a showdown, and then Elo will be back on top.

I wonder how many people on Slashdot are old enough to get this... at least 4, apparently!

Re:Can't be so (3, Funny)

definate (876684) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659470)

I don't get it.

REVEAL YOUR SECRETS!

Wow, Slashdot won't allow me to post with that ratio of non-caps to caps. So I need to write all of this to correct the ratio. The error says "Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.".

Dear robotic automated moderating overlord,
I know it's like yelling, that's the effect I was going for. Obviously your algorithm is shit, because you don't seem to understand context... or love.
Sincerely,
definate

Re:Can't be so (2, Informative)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660180)

REVEAL YOUR SECRETS!

His post is chock full o' snippets ELO [wikipedia.org] songs.

Electric Light Orchesra reference....no? (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659542)

Well that popped into my head as soon as as I seen Elo in the story headline. And I'm only 30 and 2 days and I actually have one of their 8-track a couple of CD's.

Re:Can't be so (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659860)

I found it funny without realising it's a reference. In fact, finding out it's a reference to something makes it a little less funny.. though not as bad as when I make a joke and people are like "what's that from?".

Re:Can't be so (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660916)

To be fair it's not like he took it from one source and changed a couple words around. Stringing together song and album titles:

A friend called my on my telephone line and told me out of the blue that the Elo rating system had been bested. I was so stunned I almost turned to stone. I said, "Dude, don't bring me down!". But the news slowly sunk in, and now I can't get it out of my head. But I'll tell you what, the jury is still out. I think there's gonna be a showdown, and then Elo will be back on top.

There's probably some I'm missing.

Re:Can't be so (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33661122)

Ah, I guess I'm just too young and have never been exposed to ELO's music. That's definitely a worthy set of references, though the post would still be funny even if the band ELO never existed.

Re:Can't be so (2, Funny)

halestock (1750226) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659504)

I dunno, I heard the new system has an IQ of 1001, has a jumpsuit on, and is also a telephone.

Re:Can't be so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659570)

This is big news all over the world, so hold on tight. Seems to be some kind of strange magic that beat the Elo system, so tomorrow I'll be calling America to see if there any secret messages about whether it's over for that system.

Ole! (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659646)

Had to be said...

Re:Ole! (1)

Nighttime (231023) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659656)

With milk?

Ah confusion... such a terrible shame... (1)

kale77in (703316) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659658)

Confusion. It's such a terrible shame.
Confusion. You don't know what you're sayin'.
You've lost your love and you just can't carry on.
You know there's no-one for you to lean on.
To le-ee-an on.

-- ELO

Bruce? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33661426)

Is that you, Bruce?

Re:Bruce? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#33662348)

Is that you, Bruce?

No, my name is actually "Grroosss".

Re:Can't be so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33661646)

E-Evil woman...... E-Evil woman........ Wait did someone say E.L.O.

Re:Can't be so (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33665054)

Sorry, but do ya really think so?

Re:Can't be so (1)

Dabido (802599) | more than 4 years ago | (#33672194)

Mister Blue Sky told me. What a Discovery.

Not surprising at all (5, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659336)

This is entirely unsurprising. The Elo system was, in a sense, designed to be easily calculable in a time before things like computers or databases or data mining were especially common (after all, it was adopted by US Chess Federation in 1960!), and it hasn't been revised much if at all since then. Of course statisticians using modern methods and number crunching capabilities and huge databases of both game results and game moves are going to be able to beat it by a lot - this isn't like the Netflix prize, where a bunch of teams were competing to improve something that had been in active development up until that very year.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659486)

But the point of the story is to get more people interested in their contest by putting it on the front page of Slashdot. Which it probably will do.

Re:More people interested (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660336)

But notice that a ratings squabble gets prime coverage and Anand's championship win was ignored?

Re:More people interested (1)

BlackCreek (1004083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660968)

But notice that a ratings squabble gets prime coverage and Anand's championship win was ignored?

Probably because people here have more interest in algorithms than in chess itself?

Re:More people interested (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33663464)

Uh, which championship? Last I can tell he took second to Carlsen in August's Arctic Securities Chess Stars championship in August. Besides that, it shouldn't be newsworthy that the current world champion wins a tournament.....

Re:Chess Championship (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#33675118)

My point exactly... *The* World Chess Championship - the classical time control match with Topalov.

Our every friendly Wiki Link -
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/World_Chess_Championship_2010 [wikimedia.org]

"Arctic Securities Chess Stars" is, to quote Chessbase,
"This rapid chess tournament is taking place in Kristiansund from Saturday, August 28th to Monday, August 30th 2010. It is a double round robin with four players: Magnus Carlsen, Viswanathan Anand, Judit Polgar and Jon Ludvig Hammer. On Monday there follows the finals between the two leading players, together with the bronze final for third place. Time controls are 20 minutes + 10 seconds increment per move."
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=6641 [chessbase.com]

So respectfully your remark isn't formally logical. However, I'll give you total leeway for being confused because the chess world has been a mess of "championship tournaments" for about 10 years. But the Arctic Securities was a typical publicity event. World Championships do occasionally fail to take first in alternate time controls like Rapid.

Re:Chess Championship (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678016)

Dude, the world championship ended in May. Why would you expect anyone to post in September about a tournament that ended in May? And even in May the result wasn't very interesting.

Re:Not surprising at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659586)

True, except the Elo rating system was developed over many years (Elo even wrote a book about it). This competition hasn't only been running for seven weeks.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659900)

There have been attempts to improve Elo over the years as well. Glicko and TrueSkill (from Microsoft reseach, used on the Xbox) are the most commonly mentioned. Also, a lot of game sites have developed variants on decayed history Elo by trial and error. The one at KGS, for instance, is pretty impressive. There's also less known academic research, such as Remi Coulom's paper on Whole History Rating.

Deciding which is the better chess player from what they've won in the past is also a far simpler problem than predicting someone's tastes based on what he's liked in the past. Intransitivities are probably neglible. Data mining is probably overkill.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659984)

Of course statisticians using modern methods and number crunching capabilities and huge databases of both game results and game moves are going to be able to beat it

You mean data miners can predict the database they built their algorithms on? Wow!

A true test would be to accurately predict results in the next ten years.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660436)

You mean data miners can predict the database they built their algorithms on?

As far as I can tell, the principle of the test works similarly to the following: Take a database with multiple years of results, train the algorithm on all but the final year, and predict the final year. Someone who cares enough about chess skill rankings to have read the article carefully could fill in more details.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33664758)

There's not much choice but to start there. I'm sure they are interested in seeing how it does over the next 10 years of results, but unless you have a technology I don't know about, that'll take 10 years.

Re:Not surprising at all (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 4 years ago | (#33667370)

That's not how prediction competitions work, obviously.

Everyone is given a "training" dataset, which contains the results. The contestants mine this dataset to determine their algorithm, which is then applied to a "test" dataset that has hidden results (i.e. who won the game). The contestants are judged by how well they do on the test set.

What is suprising... (Re:Not surprising at all) (1)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660140)

Is that with the best tech (both machines and math techniques) ELO has only been bested by 8%. You'd think it would be at least in the low 20's. Whether ELO is retained, it's a testament to its genius.

Incidently folks, Chess is only the most well known user of ELO ratings. Many other competitive games make use of them as well.

Whole History Rating (4, Interesting)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659370)

The french computer scientist Remi Coulom, well-known for the pioneering computer go program Crazy Stone, has published some very interesting research on this issue. He claims not only to beat Elo, but also Glicko, Microsoft's TrueSkill and decayed-history approaches.

I was going to see if I could implement his ideas for the competition, since he's not going to participate himself. But it doesn't look like I have time for it.

Here's the paper [coulom.free.fr] in case anyone wants to give it a try. I suspect the approach is a bit more solid than the ad-hoc approaches of the quants.

Re:Whole History Rating (1)

databuff (1789500) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659594)

According to the leaderboard, Glicko is being beaten by ~5 per cent. Coulom's system better be pretty good!

Re:Whole History Rating (3, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659868)

Glicko isn't designed to take advantage of all the information that's available in this competition. To calculate your new Glicko rating, you just need the Glicko ratings of both players + the result. I bet all serious contenders in the competition use the whole history somehow. (I talked with one who uses a decayed history scheme; he beats Glicko).

As to the leaderboard, it's really not so clear. Almost certainly, some of the contenders are accidentally overfitting to the leaderboard test data.

Obvious question (3, Funny)

glwtta (532858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659378)

So, how did they rank the entries?

What is the punchline? (1)

snookerhog (1835110) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659424)

A Portugese physicist, an Israeli mathematician and two American programmers walk into the bar.

The bartender says:

Re:What is the punchline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659490)

"Why do you Americans always come in pairs?"

The first American replies, "We're not a pair, we're synergistically co-opting each others paradigms to maximize thoroughput and achieve sustained maximum impactability."

Re:What is the punchline? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659580)

Elo, elo, elo, what's going on 'ere then?

(He's a part time policeman as well)

Re:What is the punchline? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659592)

A Portugese physicist, an Israeli mathematician and two American programmers walk into the bar.

The bartender says:

Sorry lads, read the sign: "Cheques are NOT accepted."

*rim-shot*

Re:What is the punchline? (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660310)

"Whoa, is this some kind of a joke?!"

Portrugese? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659480)

It's PortUGUEse, jesus fucking christ

Re:Portrugese? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659886)

That's Jesus fucking Christ to you, FFSMS!

The end of Elo? (1)

Kiraxa (1840002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659482)

Now if only we could get games that aren't evenly matched to stop using elo as a skill determiner, since its only design was a differentiator in skill, yet all these games with more variables than skill swear by elo as if its perfect for their matchmaking. (Heres looking at you, games such as WoW, and League of Legends, and many other competative games with developers too lazy to use a truly balanced system.)

Portrugese (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33659536)

True facts about Portrugese:
  1. More than 250 million peoprle spek Portruguese, making it the firfth most sproken language in the wrorld.
  2. Portrugese is an adjective describing thrings relatd to Portrugal.
  3. Christropher Colurmbus spoke Portrugese.
  4. Portrugese is the officiral langurage of ther Repulic rof Angorlra.
  5. Hery trhe Navgatror, a Portugese prirnce, was in lrge partr resposible for Portugese effortrs durirng the age of explorartion.

Re:Portrugese (5, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659848)

Hery trhe Navgatror, a Portugese prirnce, was in lrge partr resposible for Portugese effortrs durirng the age of explorartion.

Wait just a second! you cannot go changing the subject suddenly like that... focus!, we are talking about Portrugese here!

Re:Portrugese (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33662766)

That's just a typo! Don't be such a grammar nazi!

Re:Portrugese (1)

Stihdjia (1870316) | more than 4 years ago | (#33670896)

Portrugese alrso usres mrore R'sr thranr anry otrher lrangruage.

Re:Portrugese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33671696)

I got to "rof Angorlra" before realizing anything was wrong...

and what about rock/paper/scissors (2, Interesting)

Paradigma11 (645246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659574)

Many rating systems seem to assume transitive dominance structures. If you are playing rock/paper/scissors no rating would be sufficient to predict the outcome of a tournament. Many games (using Batttlenet, true skill..) propably are not interested in finding nontransitive structures since players want to be the best and fans want to know who is the best which is kind of pointless with r/p/s.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659664)

Many rating systems seem to assume transitive dominance structures. If you are playing rock/paper/scissors no rating would be sufficient to predict the outcome of a tournament. Many games (using Batttlenet, true skill..) propably are not interested in finding nontransitive structures since players want to be the best and fans want to know who is the best which is kind of pointless with r/p/s.

In other words, styles make fights.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659916)

If you are playing rock/paper/scissors no rating would be sufficient to predict the outcome of a tournament.

That's true, but that's not because of intransitivities in the game, it's because there's so little difference between human players. Just because there's intransitivities in the game doesn't mean there's intransitivity in the rankings - Starcraft is built around intransitivities, but the rankings work just fine.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

Paradigma11 (645246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660126)

If you are playing rock/paper/scissors no rating would be sufficient to predict the outcome of a tournament.

That's true, but that's not because of intransitivities in the game, it's because there's so little difference between human players. Just because there's intransitivities in the game doesn't mean there's intransitivity in the rankings - Starcraft is built around intransitivities, but the rankings work just fine.

thats true, i should have said intransitives in the player vs player outcomes rather than the game mechanics.

i am certain that the sc2 story is FAR more complicated than the rankings even tough every race setup in 1vs1 should be balanced in theory.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

comic-not (316313) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660298)

I am not quite certain that I follow. Depending on tournament type R/P/S is (mostly) a game of chance, chess isn't. The only way I can see R/P/S applying is if they represent the players themselves, not the game. In other words, instead of having individual strength ratings that can be measured in isolation, player R's style of play might be naturally stronger against player S's style than that of player P, in which case we could only express the relative strengths of any pairing. This would allow a scenario where R is stronger than S is stronger than P is stronger than R.

However, given the pairing list of a tournament and the respective pairwise relative strengths, it is still possible to predict the outcome. As a very simple example, let's say that on the first round we have the pairs (rock_a, paper) and (rock_b, scissors). Winners of the first round (paper, rock_b) fight for gold, losers (rock_a, scissors) for bronze. Paper wins, followed by rock_a, rock_b takes bronze and leaves scissors last.

Applied to the problem at hands, one would suspect that there exists an algorithm not far removed from Google's PageRank that can identify all the possible playstyles and their relative strengths, in which case the simplest predictive model would contain the playstyle preference and proficiency of the players combined with style coupling constants (it is likely that a player can play several styles with varying degree of skill, and try to use the one that they believe to give them the best chances against what they know of their opponent). Just my hunch, I'm not really into this stuff.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660644)

R/P/S is an interesting game for precisely this reason. A pure random player will win 50% of the time, but no one actually plays completely randomly (even if they try to, humans are terrible random number generators). Both players are trying to model the other player's strategy - if you can predict what the other player will do in the next round, you can win it. For example, if he always follows rock with scissors, you can follow his rock with rock and win. Of course, if he realises that you are modelling his strategy in this way then he will follow rock with paper, and so on.

This makes it interesting because it's a highly simplified version of the way the stock market works - you make money on the stock market by working out what other people are going to do, and they are constantly trying to do the same thing to you. In both games, an algorithm describing the perfect strategy would have to be more complex than itself, and therefore can not exist.

For determining a ranking, it is possible that different playing styles have a non-transitive advantage. This is also true for chess, but to a lesser extent. I used to play chess at school, before I got bored with deterministic games, and I found that there were quite often cycles in the rankings. I could consistently beat some people, who could consistently beat other people who consistently beat me. The goal of this sort of ranking is to decide, based on prior matches, who will win a given game. A system which does not assume a strong ordering can potentially be more accurate, but will be significantly harder to design.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33666726)

Regarding what you said about the stock market. The fact that this is is seen as the way the stock market should work is one of the reasons the world is in such economic trouble. What you describe is speculation and it's the race to the bottom worst case scenario for the stock market. It's a real pity it does work that way, effectively turning the stock market into a big casino/pyramid scheme. The way the stock market is supposed to work is as an engine to provide capital to companies so that they can grow and earn profits. As soon as growing stock price becomes more important than using capital to generate profits greater than the capital, then you have a degenerating situation. If this happens in an entire market segment, it's a bubble.

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

Chupathingy (1367637) | more than 4 years ago | (#33667396)

For some reason your post reminded me of the Next Generation episode Peak Performance, where Data analyzes Riker's likely tactical strategy. "Knowing that he knows we know he knows...."

Re:and what about rock/paper/scissors (1)

Paradigma11 (645246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33663036)

you are ofcourse correct, i meant the players and not the game.

ELO isn't just for chess (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#33659808)

The ELO rating system isn't just used for chess, but many other competitive games (including video games). Therefore, this new 'improvement' may not apply to other games so well, if they've only used chess win/loss data. Sometimes, the simplest formulas are the best/most general.

Even within the ELO system, tweaks can be made [wikipedia.org] , though FIDE still uses the original system for whatever reasons.

What do you call a slavic immigrant in Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33660342)

Czech-mate, badabumtish

Emo Chess (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660352)

I could have sworn it said "emo chess". I was going to ask what the goal of the game was, to decide who gets to play black ?

Re:Emo Chess (1)

DQKennard (1573143) | more than 4 years ago | (#33678092)

Fighting over who plays black in emo chess would be far too much effort. Who really cares, anyway, about the game or its outcome. It's all just a pointless metaphor for the pointless struggle that is life. There might be, I suppose, some small momentary fascination with the inexplicable passions people seem to hold to in chess or life. sighhhhhhhhhhhh. /emo-mode

Misleading (1)

david_bandel (909002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33660932)

These results aren't as significant as you might think. In fact, the small gain over ELO lies inside the margin of error for the small sample set of games being used. No matter what the sample size, there will be some algorithm, specifically tailored to that sample that will achieve better results than any other algorithm, especially if the other algorithm satisfies the criteria of being the most statistically valid across all possible sample sets on average. ELO is a pure logistic norming of rating-difference vs. expected-result. Mathematically/statistically it's not possible to improve on ELO as a general predictor of success in general. Only in specific sub-samples. Given enough games in a large enough pool of players, ELO should be a perfect predictor. Just like the sum of an infinite amount of continuous uniformly distributed random variables would result in a normal distribution. It's like having the best overall car. There will be other cars that beat you in the short race, some that beat you in the long race, even some that beat you in the medium race, some that beat you for mph, mpg, etc. Or picture a chaotic curve with lots of randomness that has an overall trend from 0,0 to x,y. y=x is the best model of the whole curve you can get. But if you zoom in on some subsection of the curve and make all the randomness disappear, you can tweak your straight line to fit the data slightly better. But if you extrapolated the tweaked line over the whole spectrum, you'd get a pretty poor predictor that wouldn't even stay in the domain or range.

Don't Bring Me Down (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#33661052)

ELO ?

I didn't know the Electric Light Orchestra was still around

And once again in dead last... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33661082)

A Saudi Arabia mathematician who insists that Allah will guide his way to victory and a Liberty University physicist who insists that the universe revolves around the earth.

Fuck chess (0, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33661470)

Computer beats world's greatest chess player. Good job. Play Go instead, it's not solved.

Octopus (1)

skyggen (888902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33662094)

I say use the Soccer Octopus.

now... (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 4 years ago | (#33662542)

If Sagarin would just replace his ELO rating with the eventual winner of this contest. It would be interesting to see how much closer the "ELO replacement" performance is to what he gets from his PREDICTOR method (that takes into account point differentials).
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