"Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

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"Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby kbarber » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:18 pm

Right now, my "Overall rank (if points are combined)" is 31,543 of 1,926,478 (incorrect). My total score is 4,636,372.
https://stats.foldingathome.org/donor/Kenneth_Barber

Look up "Kenneth_Barber" here:
https://stats.foldingathome.org/donors
My rank is 31,543 for 3,810,561 points towards team 0 and 70,807 for 825,811 points towards team 224497.

My overall rank is currently based on the points from the team that I've contributed to the most. The overall rank should be based on the total score.
kbarber
 
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby bruce » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:33 pm

Yes, points earned by various FAH accounts do not combine. While 3rd party sites may combine them, that also has potential problems.

Points which were credited to team 0 or were credited without a passkey are never shifted to another team or another passkey. Imagine how many people named "John Smith" (a very common name) have contributed to FAH. Their points CANNOT be allocated to some other account.

While the name "Kenneth_Barber" may seem to be unique, it may not be. I can voluntarily use that same name and claim credit for doing so. While I would probably contribute to a different team, there is no assurance of that. The same rules should apply to you as apply to the amalgamation of points earned by the various "John Smith" accounts. The only thing that makes an account unique is the passkey TOGETHER WITH the name and they're still distinguished by team number, too.

FAH never migrates points from one account to another. Once they've been entered into the database, they're frozen.
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby kbarber » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:38 am

I appreciate the detail, but I feel like you are missing my point and committing the straw man fallacy. The Kenneth_Barber donor page is not specific to any team. The page contains a breakdown of points by team at the bottom, but I would still expect that where it says "Overall rank (if points are combined)" at the top, it would base the rank on where Kenneth_Barber's "Total score" stands relative to the "Total score" of other donors instead of using the highest rank achieved by Kenneth_Barber for a single team. If an account is based on the combination of donor, team, and passkey, then I'm not asking for points to be migrated from one account to another. I'm not trying to move points from one team to another or from one donor to another. I just want a correct overall ranking.

The "Total score" works correctly. It sums the points that the donor earned across all teams. It doesn't just take the highest contribution of the donor towards a single team like the way "Overall rank (if points are combined)" does.
kbarber
 
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby bruce » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:06 pm

Yes, I was missing your point. You're looking for a rank on a nonexistant list of total scores if combined. FAH cnnot compute that rank. FAH maintains a list of individual scores, not combined scores. From your individual scores, a total-if-combined can be easily computed, but FAH can't get a rank based on that score.

Suppose you an I are the only two donors but the stats has two accounts for and maybe three for me for a total of five accounts. It's simple to figure out a rank for each of those 5 accounts but those 5 different accounts have various ranks. My total score and your total score do not appear anywhere on that list so FAH cannot figure out which total score has a particular rank.

Now add back in the scores of everybody else. Suppose my three accounts are all higher than either of your two so my rank goes from 1 and 2 to first, and your rank on that nonexistent overall ranking goes from 3, 4, and 5 to 2nd. because two of my accounts disappear from the combined list, as does one of yours ... and all but one belonging to the various "john smith" accounts (which are, in fact, owned by a number of different people which may or may not be distinguished by passkey.) Your ranking would higher than it is now but no more accurate because many accounts SHOULD NOT be combined. It's really unfortunate that FAH accumulated points for a long time before passkeys were invented which allowed for the unique identification of individual Donors.

A 3rd oarty stats site can easily provide added value by digesting the various combined scores and creating a new combined ranking table, and maybe FAH will do that, but I doubt it. They prioritize all recommended enhancements based on scientific benefit to the project and it wouldn't add any scientific value to the project. FAH's development team will decide whether to create a new combined ranking to support Overall rank (if points are combined) or to remove the misleading information.

Does that address your question? If not, please explain.
bruce
 
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby rwh202 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:14 pm

bruce wrote:FAH cannot compute that rank. FAH maintains a list of individual scores, not combined scores

But it stores this in a database, with a GROUP BY function (and a ROW_NUMBER or RANK function).

It would be trivial to do correctly and given the effort that someone went to to explicitly add the 'if points are combined' text, it was likely a function that was intended to be implemented.

Most likely just forgotten or a mistake made when porting over stats code. However, as noted, it would still be a rather meaningless number.
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby bruce » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:30 pm

bruce
 
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby kbarber » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:54 pm

Thank you for the clarification, Bruce. I agree that if "Overall rank (if points are combined)" is not corrected, then it should be renamed. It is true, in a sense, that the points and any numbers derived from them are meaningless. In the end, we should donate our computers' CPU cycles for the sake of research and not for getting points. However, the points act as donor-specific recognition and a donor-specific measure of success. It adds some fun/gamification/competitiveness to help combat social loafing and encourage others to try to climb the ladder faster, which leads to people trying to become better donors, which means more, better, and faster research results. So, in a sense, the points/rank working correctly is important, though not top-priority.

Some of the fun is sucked when you switch teams and your "Overall rank (if points are combined)" slowly decreases as your highest single-team contribution is beaten by others. Your overall rank will not increase until you beat your highest single-team contribution under your new team. In my case, I estimated that it will take 16 months for my contributions to team 224497 to beat my contributions to team 0.
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Re: "Overall rank (if points are combined)" doesn't combine!

Postby bruce » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:19 am

I agree. Earning more points and moving up the ranks adds positive reinforcement to our donations, but you have to look at it within the context of the way the stats "accounts" are structured. Look at any measure of your results -- including those generated by the 3rd party sites, and ignore all the other measurements. [e.g.-do you look only at points or only at the number of WUs?]

Initially the names people used were completely uncontrolled and unchecked. Then FAH decided it needed passkeys to manage accounts for INDIVIDUALS. FAH was faced with a choice: Zero out all historic points, wiping out many years of history and restarting with a clean slate or somehow create an updated system which was more robust going forward but still keeping the information in the unmanaged accounts. Neither choice was a slam-dunk and we've been paying the price ever since.

I can't think of any way it can be fixed.

Suppose FAH were to zero all the accounts today, adding the requirement that you use passkey. (I'm not in any way suggesting it :!: ) I can't imagine how MASSIVE the uproar would be (and it would have been the same in that day).
bruce
 
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Location: So. Cal.


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