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Puzzle Ramayan - Casual and Word(22nd - 27th May) Score Discuss

Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 )
   LMI Tests -> Annual Competitions64 posts • Page 3 of 3 • 1 2 3
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-10-31 9:02 AM (#8868 - in reply to #8762) (#8868) Top

Posts: 8

Location: Greece
For me, the purpose of penalties in an instantly graded test is to resist temptation to guess the last couple of key digits; proper key choice should handle the rest. So the ideal penalty for a wrong submission should be about -2*Puzzle_value* Probability_of_guessing_last_2_digits. Tying the penalty to the overall scores introduces the described rather unpleasant meta-game; also, guessing harder puzzles becomes relatively cheaper, which seems to me an undesirable property. I would also want penalties to apply only to solved puzzles, and up to that puzzle's value. I don't have data to back it up, but I suspect most of the errors are a result of either trivial solution mistakes, or mangling key entry / extraction one way or another. If the site isn't facing a horde of furious guessers and cheaters, treating minor mistakes harshly just sours the fun. I suspect that losing a lot of points, in addition to losing a lot of time, on a puzzle you don't finish correctly goes against fun.

And what fun it was! I'd like to thank both authors for two ( well, three ) hours spent with inspired puzzles. From the puzzles I did get to solve under test conditions, I appreciated the neat frame of 3s on the last Classic, the linearity of solution in Sum and the bottom Snake, the somewhat surprising end of the bottom No Rectangles, and the strong character of the bottom Walls. Due to experience with the previous contest, I shied away from the big pointers, expecting beautiful terrors. In hindsight, I should have been braver, as these turned out much more approachable than expected.

Glad to know I'm not the only one who found the grids a bit small to work with ease. Other than constructing in flatter grids, you can give yourselves a little more room by putting the external answer extraction device on the side rather than below, or a whole lot of room by formatting instructions into a column.
Subject: RE: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-10-31 8:43 PM (#8880 - in reply to #8762) (#8880) Top

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Author

Location: USA
Thank you both for the feedback. It's a little depressing to realize we didn't avoid complaints about answer entry the second time around either, but given how mistake-prone Fillomino is we might be cursed to deal with them forever.

term: I don't think I agree on the purpose of penalties. I was never of the opinion that instant grading is supposed to be a departure from the original system where it's important to check work on finished puzzles. If you look back through threads on previous instant-graded tests, you'll notice I'm always complaining that the penalty was so low that I did increase / could have increased my score by letting the instant grader do all the checking for me. The reason for the high penalty amount and the penalty applying even for unsolved puzzles is to discourage instantly clicking submit each time you solve a puzzle.

It's true losing points to minor mistakes is no fun, but one reason I prefer instant grading is that the original system seems worse about this. Here at least you can recover the points for puzzles you've worked through. On last year's test at least a few players lost a 10+ point puzzle to one silly error. Here losing 10 points requires making lots of silly errors.

Anyways, this is one reason I wanted opinions on the penalty amount. Looking at the score page, the goal of having a penalty amount that actually mattered to the rankings (hence one that encouraged checking) was achieved, but how much solvers liked it is something that can't be seen there.

kiwijam's pointing out a situation where the penalty is higher than the puzzle value is a possibility I was aware of before the test, but I didn't think I could achieve the above aims if I decreased the 2%, so I left it. Next time I may do something like cap an individual penalty at half the puzzle's value. Finally, with regards to rushing to finish a puzzle in the last minute, I maintain penalties should still apply. If you finish that puzzle with 30 seconds to go, the instant grader can quickly tell you if you're wrong, which is a huge advantage over being in the same situation with a non-instant grading system. That this comes with a small loss in score seems appropriate.
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-10-31 9:20 PM (#8881 - in reply to #8762) (#8881) Top

PR 2020 (Evergreens) Author

Posts: 1354
Location: India
I think some people like to solve and submit a bunch of puzzles together. They're definitely not thinking of letting the grader do the checking, and if say someone submits 14 puzzles together and 4 of the small pointers turn out to be wrong, thats a big cut to the points if they don't end up solving those. There's many other reasons, where it can be discouraging to people who are actually solving without thinking of the grader and stuff, for the sake of stopping a minority of people thinking of taking advantage of the checking.

I maintain that a person can only take advantage of the grader if the answer is submitted eventually, so I think there can at least be a smaller penalty percentage for the puzzles that don't get solved correctly.

Also, the individual penalty cap for smaller point puzzles is a good idea. While its important not to encourage letting the grader do the checking, its just as important to let competitors submit freely instead of thinking about gains and losses mid-competition.
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-01 12:04 AM (#8883 - in reply to #8881) (#8883) Top

Posts: 182
Location: Thailand
What if the penalty is simply reducing that particular puzzle's value by N% or a fixed amount of point?
In this way:
- submitting a wrong solution without eventually finishing it doesn't decrease your score from other puzzles.
- sort of discourage guessing because guessing usually takes multiple tries (further reducing the profit from guessing) and the value would be so dismal that its not even worth guessing.
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-01 1:57 AM (#8885 - in reply to #8762) (#8885) Top

Posts: 31
Location: USA
tamz29, I think the problem with your proposal is that then you might as well guess on every puzzle -- especially ones that you started but didn't finish -- because the worst you can get on any one puzzle is 0 points.

I lost points due to typing in a solution key to the wrong puzzle blank (annoying! edit to add: I see I got that penalty refunded now, thanks. But maybe all kinds of carelessness in solving/entering should get at least some small penalty?) and due to having made a mistake solving the puzzle (a lot better than getting 0 points for that puzzle!)

Edited by joshuazucker 2012-11-01 2:21 AM
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-01 2:43 AM (#8887 - in reply to #8885) (#8887) Top

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Author

Posts: 15

Location: United States
joshuazucker - 2012-10-31 2:57 PMI lost points due to typing in a solution key to the wrong puzzle blank (annoying! edit to add: I see I got that penalty refunded now, thanks. But maybe all kinds of carelessness in solving/entering should get at least some small penalty?)
If I ever do a test by myself, I'm tempted to ask Deb to try an instant grading system where entering a correct answer in a wrong blank instantly gives you both the wrong answer penalty and the right answer value. That, or just have one blank that you fill out multiple times and not worry about filling in the wrong blanks.
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-02 8:18 AM (#8899 - in reply to #8762) (#8899) Top

Posts: 157
Location: New Zealand
That's a fun idea. Put your submission in a single box, if it matches any of the real answers then you get points for it and a table is updated accordingly.
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-06 9:28 AM (#8926 - in reply to #8899) (#8926) Top

Location: India
Question in PM :

What's the point of not including FF2 in LMI puzzle ratings? Since this is going to be held AT MOST once a year, and the first Fillomino-Fillia counted for the ratings, I think that these should be counted as ratings. (Likewise, I think the 4 TVC's should count as one puzzle performance for the ratings). These ratings should determine who is the best puzzle solver for LMI tests, and if one rules out certain competitions, then these will not be as accurate.

Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-06 10:09 AM (#8927 - in reply to #8926) (#8927) Top

Location: India
When we started a new section for Annual contests last year, I saw them as "additional contests" to monthly contests. And because of that it was decided that annual contests by default won't be considered in ratings since we don't want more than one contest a month to be considered in ratings. There is nothing against FF2 not being included - just that in my earliest interactions with Palmer, I had mentioned to him this will be an annual contest. So even if there was no other monthly test "happened" in October, we didn't change our earlier stand.

Including 4 TVCs as one puzzle performance is something I have often wondered, and we'll try to do that next year. Also, to reduce the number of tests at LMI, we are considering the next annual contest also to be "December Monthly test", which will be included in ratings. But there are more than 1 annual contests in December, and we can not be including everything.
Subject: Re: Fillomino Fillia 2 ( 27-29 Oct 2012 ) @ 2012-11-13 1:08 PM (#8945 - in reply to #8927) (#8945) Top

Fillomino-Fillia 2 Author

Location: USA
A pack containing all the puzzles on the test and the preview series, as well as 30 additional Fillomino puzzles of various kinds and difficulties, has now been released at my blog:
This is also intended to serve as the solution booklet for this test, if you were interested in that.
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