Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Bracket - Math III

My brain got increasingly fed up with this as I went along and I cut more corners. I think I may have even lost some school down in the 50’s while switching lists. I guess that will show up when the bracket comes out.

I won’t be updating it on the basis of the last few games. This will be the list, subject to a few decisions, all of which revolve around purity of method versus what I think will happen. By purity of method, BYU, Belmont, and Wisconsin are all ranked higher than I think they should be – insanely higher in the matter of Belmont. OTOH, I think Florida should go higher than where they ended up by my system.

I will probably have better predictions if I move teams that are clearly out of place. OTOH, the original experiment was not to know anything and just slam together a mathematical model for fun. On the other, other hand, it stopped being fun and I won’t be improving on the model for next year. If I do this again, it will take a different form. Blowout wins and losses versus virtual ties seems to provide good predictive value, at least as far as the conference tournaments have shown (rough estimate from reading up this week). But it is tedious enough to work out by hand, and results in odd enough records (such as an adjusted 43-12 W-L) that it then gets difficult to do anything else with them, such as factor in strength of schedule. Just too many teams. It would be fun to do lots of complicated things with a dozen teams. With 80, not so much. It’s not worth the candle.

I did discover that there are many mathematical models for Bracketology, some with more sophistication than what you’d ever do by hand I have no knowledge which is best. Maybe that will be next year’s project instead – rate the methods. I looked at a composite site, and every method had Ohio State and Kansas #1 & 2, usually in that order. After that it gets stranger.

karrde said...

Say, are you doing this on paper or with a spreadsheet?

Spreadsheets may make it easier to add new data elements, sort, compare, graph, etc.

(As long as you aren't doing it for the first time. The first time, it's much more of a pain to learn how to do it, then figure out what you want to do...)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, I've got a spreadsheet I should have used, because it is actually a little similar. But I didn't.

I always thought poets were a little ridiculous if they said they liked writing freehand, but I think I'll have to swallow those words. I greatly prefer to do computation on a horizontal surface. I used to prefer doing computation aurally, and was something of a whiz kid at that through high school. But that faded, and I never really warmed to computation on screen. Odd, when you think of it, as it isn't that different than a blackboard.

Of course, I may not have noticed the blackboard much. I was in my own head.

I should post sometime about the puzzling nature of what I have retained and what I have fully lost from my lightning computation days. I don't see an explanation for much of it.

karrde said...

I'm no lightning computationalist myself...though I've handed a cash-register operator exact change, only to have them spend thirty seconds counting it out carefully. And people have given me a second glance when I confidently run a simple math problem in my head.

(I did know a guy once who was incredibly fast at two-digit by two-digit multiplication. My own skills are a less showy. For most numbers I can tell divisibility by 2,3,4,5,6,8,9 and 10 without much thought. Divisibility by 7 and 11 is harder to do, but I know how.)

But I will admit to spending a lot of time in certain college classes learning how to construct complex edifices of computation on spreadsheets (and later in more powerful programs).

I guess I decided that if there's more than one variable, or a long list of entries, a computer program can simplify a long, tedious task.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yeah, you're right. I programmed a league of the 6 greatest Red Sox teams in BASIC in 1988, so that half the computations were by hand and half worked out by the program. But when I hit a snag - things started getting weird when a relief pitcher was brought in, and went completely insane - like, 11 run innings - when a second reliever came on. It was probably simple to fix, but I had nothing left to give, and I had the knowledge that it was probably already OOD.

WWI cryptographer - that was perhaps the best use of me in history.