PANFOPCWHTTAPA 3 (11th - 16th Nov) Score Discuss
2011 Double Decathlon — LMI October Puzzle Test — 15th and 16th October62 posts • Page 2 of 3 • 1 2 3
What is your opinion of Instant Grading compared to other grading systems used here at LMI?
Please provide your specific feedback / suggestion about the grading system and/or the penalty system in the forum.
OptionResults
Instant Grading is a good system. Please use it again on other tests, with no changes.30 Votes - [76.92%]
Instant Grading is an okay system. Consider using it again, possibly with some changes or different penalty values.7 Votes - [17.95%]
Instant Grading is a bad system. Return to the more traditional format on future tests.2 Votes - [5.13%]
View Results

@ 2011-10-15 2:33 PM (#5793 - in reply to #5749) (#5793) Top

neerajmehrotra



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neerajmehrotra posted @ 2011-10-15 2:33 PM

Wonderful...............thanks Thomas for such a nice puzzle test....ofcourse it was much beyond my capacity....
@ 2011-10-15 10:06 PM (#5794 - in reply to #5749) (#5794) Top

mucha



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mucha posted @ 2011-10-15 10:06 PM

Wow, either I'm out of shape or this test was really hard. Very nice puzzles, the ones I managed to crack at least. Also, really like instant scoring!
@ 2011-10-16 12:32 AM (#5795 - in reply to #5749) (#5795) Top

dave8mcrae



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dave8mcrae posted @ 2011-10-16 12:32 AM

So, I used the individual submit buttons, which kept updating a score on the left. But there was also something there that said "1 Correct, 0 Wrong" (or something like that). That figure didn't update. What was that supposed to tell me?
@ 2011-10-16 1:18 AM (#5796 - in reply to #5795) (#5796) Top

motris



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motris posted @ 2011-10-16 1:18 AM

dave8mcrae - 2011-10-15 11:32 AM

So, I used the individual submit buttons, which kept updating a score on the left. But there was also something there that said "1 Correct, 0 Wrong" (or something like that). That figure didn't update. What was that supposed to tell me?


That figure was telling you what was true of your most recent submission. It will only ever have more information like "3 correct, 1 Wrong" if you submitted more at a time using "submit all". This does seem like it could be slightly confusing so we can review the report for those doing individual submit if we use this system again.

Edited by motris 2011-10-16 1:18 AM
@ 2011-10-16 5:01 AM (#5797 - in reply to #5749) (#5797) Top

forcolin




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forcolin posted @ 2011-10-16 5:01 AM

All contests on LMI are of good quality, but this one is well above the norm. Excellent stuff, I liked particularly the hard Loop the loop and battleship sudoku.
Also, the instant grading saved me a lot of points, two copying/typing errors and a genuine solving error which I could rectify. The negative effect is that probably I did not pay much attention when typing because I knew there was a second chance.....
stefano
@ 2011-10-16 8:20 AM (#5798 - in reply to #5749) (#5798) Top

yureklis



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yureklis posted @ 2011-10-16 8:20 AM

First of all I solved all IB puzzles for preparation :) Normally I don't, but this time I tried to push myself to understand puzzle rules/competition rules before the contest. Also I should say that IB puzzle are really fun! After solving those I was looking forward to compete with real ones.

Secondly I am glad with my result although I couldn't get points that I should get, at least in my opinion. I solved one big puzzle in last 5 minutes but my time was not enough to submit my solution. Also I had solved one puzzle of all types but I lost myself in some puzzles and of course it caused me to lose my strategy, and I couldn't. But I am glad with my performance.

Your puzzles are great! They have nice looking, very satisfying solving paths; and of course new point system is cool! You made a great job, thank you so much, Thanks to LMI and shining man Deb :)
@ 2011-10-16 11:23 AM (#5799 - in reply to #5749) (#5799) Top

joshuazucker



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joshuazucker posted @ 2011-10-16 11:23 AM

Thanks for a great test! I liked the scoring system, too, both the structure of the bonuses and the penalties with the instant grading. I enjoyed all the puzzles, but particularly the same two that forcolin mentioned, though I still need more time to finish the rest of the test to see if there are some gems there that I didn't want to attempt with time pressure.
@ 2011-10-16 2:29 PM (#5800 - in reply to #5749) (#5800) Top

rob



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rob posted @ 2011-10-16 2:29 PM

Loved the test, and the scoring system. The instant grading might have made me a little more careless than usual. Three genuine mistakes in reading off the code feels like a lot for me. I'm amazed I was able to make the same mistake on both "Almost Simple Loop" puzzles!

It did seem the instant grading slightly affected my solving: On one or two puzzles, after I finished them up with some intuition, I used the submit button to verify the solution, instead of double checking by hand.
@ 2011-10-16 7:27 PM (#5801 - in reply to #5749) (#5801) Top

vopani



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vopani posted @ 2011-10-16 7:27 PM

Very good set of puzzles. Thanks Thomas!

I liked everything about the scoring system. I just wanted to throw open a point that comes to my mind. Should we have different penalties for different puzzles? (High-point puzzles have greater penalty?) Maybe not very large, but at least some amount of distinction.
@ 2011-10-16 10:22 PM (#5802 - in reply to #5801) (#5802) Top

detuned



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detuned posted @ 2011-10-16 10:22 PM

So with this new system, I think I was more careful about entering keys then normal, conscious of the four point penalties. And no mistakes!! (at least mistakes I didn't catch, seems I'm a little rusty from not doing any LMI tests in ages). So yeah, thumbs up from me on this system. I'm sure it'd save me lots of future grief, however I'm not sure it should be implemented on every test. Instantly knowing when you have a puzzle right or wrong doesn't accurately match up with an offline solving experience, for instance...
@ 2011-10-16 11:57 PM (#5803 - in reply to #5802) (#5803) Top

motris



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motris posted @ 2011-10-16 11:57 PM

Rohan Rao - 2011-10-16 6:27 AM
I liked everything about the scoring system. I just wanted to throw open a point that comes to my mind. Should we have different penalties for different puzzles? (High-point puzzles have greater penalty?) Maybe not very large, but at least some amount of distinction.


I thought a lot about different implementations; certainly the existing typo standard of 80% would suggest a larger penalty but I think, given the time put into solving the puzzle versus the time to enter the submission, it is excessively punitive (should it be 4 points and 10 points on this test, for example?). I will say that one change I would consider looking over the results is possibly an escalating penalty if making many errors on the same puzzle. It also seems possible to use the time to fix an error to split the cases (typos are fixed quickly, puzzle errors most often take 2+ minutes), but this could also be risky for some types of errors.

Considering all these options, I actually prefer the simplicity used here, just one kind of penalty and it is the same everywhere.

detuned - 2011-10-16 9:22 AM
So with this new system, I think I was more careful about entering keys then normal, conscious of the four point penalties. And no mistakes!! (at least mistakes I didn't catch, seems I'm a little rusty from not doing any LMI tests in ages). So yeah, thumbs up from me on this system. I'm sure it'd save me lots of future grief, however I'm not sure it should be implemented on every test. Instantly knowing when you have a puzzle right or wrong doesn't accurately match up with an offline solving experience, for instance...


I expect a few people to make this argument and it may be why several of the better solvers (uvo, melon, Para) have voted negative or neutral on this system. My view is offline contests are offline contests and online contests are online contests. They can borrow from each other at times and innovate and do new things at other times. I would compare this system to being in a playoff round at a WPC and turning in each puzzle as finished. After a fixed amount of time you get a signal if you are correct or not. So it is an offline test mode, just not one people have a lot of experience with. The penalty is set to act like the equivalent WPC penalty, which costs you a small amount of points/time, but puts you back in control of fixing whatever mistake you made.

The results in the stat page so far should reveal at lot of the errors solvers make are "online only"; their paper probably has a correct solution but entering a particular piece of information doesn't come through with high fidelity. Since I'm not grading entire grids, I'm happy to experiment with a system that helps remove the "online only errors" from other errors. I think this has gone very well on this test, and Deb has done a very good job realizing the scoring system I wanted.

Edited by motris 2011-10-17 12:05 AM
@ 2011-10-17 2:46 AM (#5804 - in reply to #5749) (#5804) Top

detuned



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detuned posted @ 2011-10-17 2:46 AM

motris: I have a lot of time for your argument, and I don't think anyone can argue that this hasn't been one of the better LMI test scoring innovations (noting that as I've previously argued, these LMI tests are the perfect playground for these innovations). I'd definitely like to see this repeated in future tests. Just, I guess, not *all* of them.
@ 2011-10-17 2:48 AM (#5805 - in reply to #5749) (#5805) Top

jalbert



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jalbert posted @ 2011-10-17 2:48 AM

I got booted off the internet before I had a chance to enter my answers. I guess I should have been entering them as I solved them, but is there anything I can do now?
@ 2011-10-17 2:53 AM (#5806 - in reply to #5805) (#5806) Top

motris



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motris posted @ 2011-10-17 2:53 AM

jalbert - 2011-10-16 1:48 PM
I got booted off the internet before I had a chance to enter my answers. I guess I should have been entering them as I solved them, but is there anything I can do now?


This is unfortunately a problem that comes up with online tests and there is nothing we can do to give you an "official score" after the two hour clock has run out. Submitting before the end of the test (sometimes putting in what you have done after 90 of 120 minutes) is probably a good approach for the future. I hope you had fun with some of the puzzles despite the answer entry frustration.
@ 2011-10-17 4:27 AM (#5807 - in reply to #5749) (#5807) Top

pvondrak



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pvondrak posted @ 2011-10-17 4:27 AM

I enjoyed the test and the immediate scoring. I did notice a bit of a difference (about 45 seconds?) between the timer and the submitted time. I ran out of time on the last one according to the countdown, and submitted it (and the resubmit after a typo), and it accepted it, showing as within the 120 minutes in the scoring details. Not sure if that's atypical, or there's a short amount of cushion or something?
@ 2011-10-17 5:30 AM (#5808 - in reply to #5807) (#5808) Top

debmohanty




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debmohanty posted @ 2011-10-17 5:30 AM

pvondrak - 2011-10-17 4:27 AM

I enjoyed the test and the immediate scoring. I did notice a bit of a difference (about 45 seconds?) between the timer and the submitted time. I ran out of time on the last one according to the countdown, and submitted it (and the resubmit after a typo), and it accepted it, showing as within the 120 minutes in the scoring details. Not sure if that's atypical, or there's a short amount of cushion or something?

The timer is certainly not designed to work that way, I'm hearing it first time. Sometimes the timer could run fast / slow but the difference between countdown timer and Server time would be maximum 2-3 seconds.

We'll try to replicate this behavior at our end.
@ 2011-10-17 6:59 AM (#5809 - in reply to #5808) (#5809) Top

motris



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motris posted @ 2011-10-17 6:59 AM

Double Decathlon is over and results can be viewed here. I hope you enjoyed the puzzles as well as the challenge of the contest (whether your goal was completing just the easy puzzles, or going for larger goals).

Five people completed all twenty hurdles. The top three on the podium are MellowMelon (1182.5), deu (1133.1), and xevs (1094.9). Also finishing were ppeetteerr and uvo. Congratulations to them. Overall 237 players started the test and 192 had non-zero scores.

This test marked the debut of Instant grading which - from the administration side of things - seemed to have worked as planned with no technical problems despite being a very new system. Watching the solutions throughout the test, I'll say that the system served its purpose of helping solvers get points on puzzles they had solved, with a large majority of all incorrect entries eventually being corrected, many within just 30 seconds suggesting they were typos. We are very interested in hearing your comments, both good and bad, about instant grading, so if you have not yet voted in the poll at the top of this page, please do so, and leave other comments here in the forum.

I will be writing about these 20 puzzles over the next ten weeks (roughly one post a week, taking the place of my Friday Puzzle) to share insights into their construction and also give solving strategies. You can look for that discussion on my blog.

I would like to especially thank Deb Mohanty for his assistance in getting the new scoring system in place and for general administrative help on the test. I'd like to also thank Wei-Hwa Huang for specific test-solving help and recommendations on puzzle formatting. Congrats again to Palmer on winning the Decathlon.
@ 2011-10-17 8:15 AM (#5810 - in reply to #5749) (#5810) Top

uvo



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uvo posted @ 2011-10-17 8:15 AM

About the scoring system: I like the easy way to correct typos for a slight penalty, but I strongly dislike being told where I made a "real" mistake. Unfortunately, I don't see an easy way to separate those. Funny enough, I managed to do both on the same time - I made a miscount in an already incorrect solution :-)

As to my knowledge, the existing 80% standard (not sure it deserves that label), was introduced at the German online qualification 2010. In that competition, we had puzzles for 10 and 60 points (and almost anything in between, of course); and we decided a fixed penalty could not be appropriate for both. The 20% penalty was just an easy way to keep integer scores. Anyway, I think it is right to have some kind of penalty, and I don't mind which one.

@detuned: Funny that you mention you were more careful entering your keys - for me, it was definitely the other way round.
@ 2011-10-17 8:28 AM (#5811 - in reply to #5810) (#5811) Top

MellowMelon



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MellowMelon posted @ 2011-10-17 8:28 AM

To elaborate on why I voted the way I did, I'd say I was neutral leaning towards positive. The one thing I was a little unsure of was how little effect the penalties had on rankings, almost seeming to be nothing more than a tiebreaker. The tl;dr version of my argument is that I think I could have raised my score if I had elected to do no post-solve checking and to submit all my answers right away (as uvo seems to have wisely done).

I understand the 4 points were supposed to roughly correspond to a WPC playoff time penalty. What I think is the difference is that a WPC playoff is (from what I hear) a race to finish, and so any loss of time is significant. But for people who don't finish the test, there's going to be dead time at the end anyway, sometimes a significant amount - Para is probably the best example here. If a penalty is to be treated like just a minor loss of time, then not finishing a puzzle in the last stretch is like getting hit with a bunch of penalties for no reason. So I think penalties should not be considered like those in a WPC playoff.

Personally I can understand being merciful about one error, especially when it's extraction related. An ineffectual four or five point penalty for a run with a single mistake seems okay. I was a little bothered by how one could make four errors and not even lose the worth of an easy puzzle. I understand there's the time taken to correct the mistake, sometimes involving a redo, but that time would have been spent whether you caught the error yourself when checking or let the system do the checking for you. In hindsight it seemed worthless to do any checking after solving a puzzle because the penalty is too small. In my case, I think I would have ended up at -4 or -8 with no checking, but I probably would have saved a couple more minutes in the process, so I estimate I would have landed at just over 1200.

Finally, there was some (attempted) abuse of the system. I saw in the results page one case of someone seeming to have a partially finished hard puzzle at the end of time, so they entered what they knew, figured out what the possible answers were given what they had left, and brute forced. (They seemed to have messed up somewhere in the process, because all they got from it was a massive amount of penalties and no solved puzzle.)

Some possible fixes I would propose would be either to raise the penalty score to something more significant, like 10 or 15 per, or to have the penalties grow the more you make them. Something like a total penalty of 4P^2 where P is the number of errors.


Otherwise, I liked the system in principle. I think it does a great job of mitigating the kind of problem that I faced on Magic Cube where my >10 minutes of bonus got thrown out by a single error, which it sounded like to me was the main reason for introducing partial bonuses in the last couple months. In contrast with uvo, I feel it is okay to be notified about real errors because if you still want that puzzle your time will take a big hit.

Edited by MellowMelon 2011-10-17 8:35 AM
@ 2011-10-17 8:38 AM (#5812 - in reply to #5811) (#5812) Top

motris



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motris posted @ 2011-10-17 8:38 AM

MellowMelon - 2011-10-16 7:28 PM
Some possible fixes I would propose would be either to raise the penalty score to something more significant, like 10 or 15 per, or to have the penalties grow the more you make them. Something like a total penalty of 4P^2 where P is the number of errors.


I strongly considered such a system and, in the absence of any real solver data, did not know the best scaling (linear, exponential, ...) to use and thought it riskier to be too complicated than too simple in the first attempt. I noticed at least the one case you mention, with 8 penalties on very close guesses made by one solver at the end of time. In other tests solvers may make one such free guess here and earn 0; in this system they can make many more guesses. So perhaps a multiplier is a good idea.

Another option that strikes me as easy to try is to set a higher penalty in general, but allow the test administrator to allow other answers at a reduced penalty (basically defining what a typo penalty is). On the Hard Loop the Loops, "544627" was a fairly common wrong answer and quickly got to 541627, the correct answer. I could give 544627 -4 points. I could give something else like 744238 -10 or -15 points as it is much more clearly incorrect. What I am not doing is giving full marks to 544627 because it is not correct, but the solver can convince me they have a 544627 from a typo, and not from some other loop, by then responding by giving 541627. In the situation with a wrong answer, they cannot.

Looking through the wrong entries here, there were some common typos that are easily dealt with this way and other very obvious errors (like uvo's first few cave answers) that would be a different story entirely. It removes the ease of administration, as you would have to make more decisions on a case by case basis, but again it is the solver who will demonstrate that they have a correct answer, and not the judge to guess whether they do. This is the improvement I most prefer to keep. This test shows the technical challenges of this style of grading can be met. Finding the optimal way to implement it into scoring will take another time or two.

Edited by motris 2011-10-17 8:47 AM
@ 2011-10-17 8:49 AM (#5813 - in reply to #5749) (#5813) Top

debmohanty




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debmohanty posted @ 2011-10-17 8:49 AM

Thanks Thomas for an extremely well planned test. With 5 players completing, and 2 more coming very close, and 70 players solving all easy puzzles, I think this was a perfect LMI test, everyone has some target to achieve. I'm sure the bonus points affected solving strategies of everyone, however I would like to point out that Murat's strategy of solving all hard puzzles first is definitely interesting.

Given that the new instant grading has generated so much discussion, I would like to believe that it definitely has many merits. It is interesting to read players' feedback, and see if we can do anything better. For organizers, one of the most painful moments during every test is to see players losing significant points because of typos, especially when we couldn't give even 80% of the points because of some ambiguities. So, definitely a thumps up from organizers' point of view.

Regarding uvo's comment that pointing out "real solving" mistakes is an undesired output - first of all, I'm not sure if I completely agree with that. Because we are just mentioning that the puzzle is wrongly submitted without specifying which column or which row is wrong. Secondly, the player still loses significant of time fixing it, and there by does not have any undue advantage.

If we still think that "real solving" mistakes shouldn't be pointed out, one possible change in the system could be that - instant grading can be done only after, for example, 117 minutes (3 minutes before the timer ends).

Another undesirable effect this system : If one is pointed about a mistake early in his solving, it could affect the solving of remaining puzzles. It is probably just an emotional thing, and couldn't be measured subjectively. I'm not sure if it happened to anyone, so just a theoretical point at this moment. This situation can also be handled if we allow instant grading only in last few minutes.
@ 2011-10-17 8:59 AM (#5814 - in reply to #5749) (#5814) Top

prasanna16391



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prasanna16391 posted @ 2011-10-17 8:59 AM

To the organizers - my claim for points was rubbish, I was extremely sleepy and didn't really know much of what I was doing so apologies for that :P

The test was really nice, and I'm in favor of the instant grading. Needs a bit of getting used to though as someone who's stubborn like me will keep on solving something till I figure out what's wrong, thereby wasting time. But that's my problem to fix ;)
@ 2011-10-17 9:10 AM (#5815 - in reply to #5813) (#5815) Top

motris



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motris posted @ 2011-10-17 9:10 AM

debmohanty - 2011-10-16 7:49 PM
If we still think that "real solving" mistakes shouldn't be pointed out, one possible change in the system could be that - instant grading can be done only after, for example, 117 minutes (3 minutes before the timer ends).


Deb's brought up another interesting mechanism that had been in my mind a bit since Screen Test which had its own review period. I do think that "3 minutes before test ends" case as highly stressful, picturing a solver searching through all the papers to find the Tapa page, not finding it, realizing it has slipped under the desk, finally finding it and then quickly trying to recount before the 3 minutes are up. But the basic principle does get at being a correction mechanism for a small number of mistakes and only allowing limited time to make those corrections.

Maybe there is something to be tried along the lines of Deb's "Twist" scoring. After the test ends (or a solver hits claim bonus), they enter an answer check period where they see a report of all the puzzles they currently have right or wrong. Over the next 2 minutes, any puzzle resubmitted that was wrong earns 75% of points. Any puzzle resubmitted after the next 2 minutes receives 50% of points. Any puzzle resubmitted after the next 2 minutes receives 25% of points. After that, the test is certainly over. A solver could even be limited to just one more submission after being told they are wrong, telling them to "make it count" the next time.

Again, there are different kinds of options to consider and I hope author's dream up new uses of the system Deb has put together. I know he will do just as well in the future in making the interface work and be fair for solvers.
@ 2011-10-17 9:37 AM (#5816 - in reply to #5815) (#5816) Top

MellowMelon



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MellowMelon posted @ 2011-10-17 9:37 AM

Simplicity of the experience should be kept in mind though; the puzzle test FAQ topic has 10 posts worth of content as it is. The farther the tests depart from "Here's the puzzles to solve. Here's how much time you have to do it. Go!" and the more technicalities the solver has to keep in mind, the less accessible they are. I think the instant grading system as it is hits a sweet spot in that regard, as the functionality is fairly intuitive even without reading any directions. While I understand the reasons to do it, I think a review period goes too far in the wrong direction. A solver has to remember when the review starts, know to look up from the puzzle they're rushing to finish at the end to catch that starting time, and maybe even face a dilemma about whether to correct errors or try to complete what they're doing.

motris's idea about test authors doing some manual setting of penalty amounts is pretty good in this regard, since it pushes the complications onto the test author instead of a (possibly new) solver. But the highly subjective nature of it is a little worrisome.
@ 2011-10-17 10:10 AM (#5817 - in reply to #5801) (#5817) Top

neerajmehrotra



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neerajmehrotra posted @ 2011-10-17 10:10 AM

Rohan Rao - 2011-10-16 7:27 PM

Very good set of puzzles. Thanks Thomas!

I liked everything about the scoring system. I just wanted to throw open a point that comes to my mind. Should we have different penalties for different puzzles? (High-point puzzles have greater penalty?) Maybe not very large, but at least some amount of distinction.


I agree with rohan................what we can have is a percent system of penalty..for example 10% of the puzzle value. In the instant case that would have been 2 points for easy and 5 points for difficult puzzle.
2011 Double Decathlon — LMI October Puzzle Test — 15th and 16th October62 posts • Page 2 of 3 • 1 2 3
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