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Reverse engineering of scoring algorithm

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  • Reverse engineering of scoring algorithm

    Since the scoring algorithm has been regarded as a state secret. I took a shot of reverse engineering the results via a simple regression analysis. First a few words about the data that I used. I have done about 350 puzzles and have solved 65% of them (typical of most puzzles). However I have only collected data from my last 130 puzzles. These puzzle included from 9 to 26 clues. I am no 'wizz' as my best result on a puzzles 110% of the average. My highest score is 480 points. My lowest score is 100 points. My average solution time is about 2.5 time the average time.

    When I started fiddling with the results I noticed that if I calculated the % of points that I obtained on a particular puzzle and compared it to the ratio average time/my time, there was monotonic relationship between the % of points and the quantity average/my time for puzzles where when my average time was less than or equal to twice the average time (30 puzzles). I also noticed that the per cent solution rate was totally uncorrelated with determining the number of points awarded.I applied a linear regression analysis to the data and developed the following relationship

    points awarded = ((0.971 * average time/my time)-0.263)*maximum points on the puzzle.

    The results of the regression analysis showed a correlation analysis of 0.99 with a standard deviation of 2.8 points. Now what about the puzzles that took longer than twice the average time to finish?

    As I mentioned before there seems to be a floor of 100 in awarding points (I never use hints). Thus as the solution time goes above 2.0, the score calculated by the equation above drops below 100, especially for puzzles below 15 clues. I haven't been able to figure out how the equation has been changed but I do notice that if my time/average time goes above 2.25, the awarded scores are all between 100 and 125 with no obvious methodology.

    Since my data is limited to puzzle solution time that are greater than the average time, I would be interested for people that have solved puzzles in faster times to PM me the results in points, times and number of clues. I'm sure that the equation doesn't hold for very, very fast solutions as if the solution is about 1/3.5 times the average, maximum points would be awarded.

    Maybe the administrator will pipe in and let me know if I am on the right track.

  • #2
    Originally posted by duhmel View Post
    Maybe the administrator will pipe in and let me know if I am on the right track.
    You're warm. :-)

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