En Garde scoring adjustment

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm experimenting with an adjustment to the En Garde world ranking algorithm, so you may see more fluctuation in the World Champion scores today.

The problem I'm trying to fix is this. Your ranking is determined by an algorithm based on Google's PageRank. You get points for having winning records against other players. Or, to look at it from the other side, everyone else gets points for having a winning record against you. But what if nobody has a winning record against you? In the Google search ranking, this is equivalent to a web page that has no links to any other page. It's treated as a special case. It gives its points equally to every other page on the web.

So that's what I did in my ranking algorithm. The problem is, it can make a big difference when you go from "only one person is beating me" to "I have no losing records." If someone you know is getting points from you, then the chances are those points are circulating around a circle of friends you play with, and you get most of them back. But when you switch to "no losing records," your points get scattered across everyone, and that had the deleterious effect that winning a game could decrease your score.

The change I have made is to track partial game scores. So even if you have no losing records, you will still give points to people who have scored touches on you. They will then give most of those points back to you (for the touches you scored on them), so the next point flow should be the same. The difference is, the only way for a player to switch to "no losing point" mode is if nobody has ever scored a single touch on them. That's really rare, so it should be less of a problem.

For those of you who have been affected by this (you've noticed that winning a game could drop your score, or vice-versa), let me know if this change improves things.



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