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  #46   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 04-09-2012, 09:21 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
In response to the above poster - great effort, but I don't think such data would be that useful. If there was no Coopertition Bridge, the best balancers would have been on the actual bridges, impacting the score of the match.
In addition to this, balancing the alliance bridge takes less time than the co-op bridge in most cases. This is for a lot of reasons, but I would estimate teams budget at least 15 extra seconds to do a co-op bridge balance than they would for an alliance team balance. This means that the robots doing the co-op balancing would also have more time to score a few extra baskets. I agree with you for sure: scores would be quite a bit different if not for the co-op bridge.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:16 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by Karthik View Post
Hall of Fame FIRST Team 254 has arguably helped more teams become good than any other team in FIRST. I don't think they need a lecture on helping their opponents.
While my comments were addressed to the general community and not to Cory and the Cheesy Poofs in particular, I am struck by the seeming disconnect here. If a member of a team recognized for its efforts to bring up the overall goodness among many teams doesn't like the fact that his team's ranking can suffer when competing against a lesser-performing team, it's possible that he does need a refresher on the topic. However, it's likely that he's just focusing on the idea that the "best robots" should be rewarded by seeding higher, even as this year's tournament rules explicitly challenge the old standard of what "best" means in a larger context.

It's surprising to see how much polarization there is surrounding the inclusion of a strong inter-alliance cooperation element into the ranking formula. I almost get the impression that some people think this is a robot competition.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 10:25 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Going into competition season I thought I would hate this rule but I quickly changed my mind. It really forces you to talk with your opponents and focus your endgame strategy across both alliances.
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Unread 04-09-2012, 11:24 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by IndySam View Post
Going into competition season I thought I would hate this rule but I quickly changed my mind. It really forces you to talk with your opponents and focus your endgame strategy across both alliances.
It does.

Perhaps there are some who are ready for this type of flexible thinking involving strategy and communication and there are some who are not.

I never try to guess what the GDC is thinking when they introduce the game challenge each year. Usually, I leave the season thinking that I will never know and that, we, as a community of competitors, don't ever really know all of the goals that the GDC has embedded in the challenge. I also think that sometimes, even the GDC is surprised as the game evolves and teams create ways to play it.

Jane
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Unread 04-10-2012, 10:58 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by JaneYoung View Post

I never try to guess what the GDC is thinking when they introduce the game challenge each year. Usually, I leave the season thinking that I will never know and that, we, as a community of competitors, don't ever really know all of the goals that the GDC has embedded in the challenge. I also think that sometimes, even the GDC is surprised as the game evolves and teams create ways to play it.

Jane
I'm guessing that you are correct. I know that I have been surprised at times. Of course, I always attribute that to the fact that there are a whole bunch of very creative folks in FIRST, or as GHWB said "smart people" and some of them are very competitive. One of the best things about the community in my opinion.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 11:41 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by JaneYoung View Post
I never try to guess what the GDC is thinking...
Oh, but you should try it, Jane! It's fun, like jigsaw puzzles or murder mysteries!

Seriously, I believe the GDC has two overarching objectives:

(1) they want the game to visually promote FIRST's core values -- two robots from opposing alliances striving cooperatively to balance the center bridge is a powerful image. (EDIT: see Taylor's example below.) And,

(2) they want us to think until it hurts. Introducing game-theory based ideas (Prisoner's Dilemma, Nash Equilibrium, etc.) with tangible and immediate results forces a kind of thinking that conventional sports do not. That thinking experience has real-life value -- life is more complex than sport.

I love the coopertition bridge. And I love that it has forced the top-tier teams to build robots for both qualifying and elimination strategies. I commented in the 67 pit at Waterford that, because of their strategy, losing a qualifying match to them is like winning, and defeating them in a qualifying match is like winning twice. So every team should want to see HOT in as many qualifying matches as possible, whether as an opponent or an ally. How cool HOT is that?
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Last edited by Richard Wallace : 04-10-2012 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Taylor nailed it.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 12:10 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Actual conversation I had with a layperson while explaining the game:

"So what's up with the white bridge?"

"See, that's called the Coopertition Bridge. If a blue robot and a red robot balance on that bridge together, then everybody in that match kind of gets a win."

"Oh. Why's that?"

"I think it's FIRST's way of saying that even though red and blue are on opposite sides, they can come together for a common goal and both gain from it."

"Oh. That's really awesome."


This simple message is, to me, the beauty of this game. Whatever the cost of the CS/QS algorithm to specific teams, the message contained within vastly outweighs it. The game transcends the competition, and this is beautiful.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 12:38 PM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

Taylor ~ I got the same thing when explaining the game to friends and family that came to the event as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
This simple message is, to me, the beauty of this game. Whatever the cost of the CS/QS algorithm to specific teams, the message contained within vastly outweighs it. The game transcends the competition, and this is beautiful.
Well said.
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Unread 04-11-2012, 09:59 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

IMO, 2012 has been the most interesting year for having a ranking system that makes it hard for the ultra-elites to cement themselves at the top since I started doing this thing in 2003.

It has EASILY been my favourite to watch. HOWEVER, my friend who came to one of the competitions and understands how the scoring works, and what the coop bridge does, but without a frequent look at the rankings (say, by putting it on the big screen between matches briefly) it was hard for him to really see the effect it was having. I think putting the rankings on the big screen between matches (in addition to, or replacing, whichever, the slideshow) is something we should have been doing for a long time. I think it would make it easier for a casual observer to see the effect that matches are having on the rankings and how that affects the overall competition.

I have FRC Spyder on my phone. I was refreshing it after every match to see what the rankings were doing. Everyone should have been able to see it.
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Unread 04-11-2012, 10:07 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by 1075guy View Post
IMO, 2012 has been the most interesting year for having a ranking system that makes it hard for the ultra-elites to cement themselves at the top since I started doing this thing in 2003.

It has EASILY been my favourite to watch. HOWEVER, my friend who came to one of the competitions and understands how the scoring works, and what the coop bridge does, but without a frequent look at the rankings (say, by putting it on the big screen between matches briefly) it was hard for him to really see the effect it was having. I think putting the rankings on the big screen between matches (in addition to, or replacing, whichever, the slideshow) is something we should have been doing for a long time. I think it would make it easier for a casual observer to see the effect that matches are having on the rankings and how that affects the overall competition.

I have FRC Spyder on my phone. I was refreshing it after every match to see what the rankings were doing. Everyone should have been able to see it.
It would be interesting after showing the scoring results screen to have this sort of screen. For each team show what rank they are after the match and how many places they moved up or down. Split the screen into 6 big parts so that the numbers are big enough to see (I find the number lists on the alliance selection screen to be too small ).
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Unread 04-11-2012, 10:11 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

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Originally Posted by 1075guy View Post
I think putting the rankings on the big screen between matches (in addition to, or replacing, whichever, the slideshow) is something we should have been doing for a long time. I think it would make it easier for a casual observer to see the effect that matches are having on the rankings and how that affects the overall competition.
I understand your point, but I think this practice would be dangerous. I often have rookie team members glued to the ranking screen to see how we're affected after each match. A common chorus on our team is "rankings don't matter until Saturday afternoon."
As has been discussed before, there is quite a bit of luck built in to FRC games. From the Coopertition award formula to the serpentine draft, FIRST injects chance into the competitions. Also, as good scouts know, sometimes good teams end up on not-so-good alliances. Just because a team is ranked low, doesn't mean it is underperforming (the converse is also true). One match on Saturday at QCR catapulted us 20+ positions directly pre-match to post-match.
The ranking system is necessary to create the alliance captains, but IMHO it should not be broadcast to the general audience throughout the event. If you would like to show the effects of rankings to a friend, you can use the FRC Spyder app to which you alluded.

tl;dr: Rankings are an important tool, but much like OPR, they only give you a biased snapshot of a team's performance.
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Unread 04-11-2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: Effect of Coopertition Points

@ Taylor: I agree. Rankings aren't everything.

However, the stated goals of the FIRST family of programs is to reach the maximum possible number of people to inspire and recognize science and technology, thereby inspiring people to pursue careers in STEM fields.

In order to reach the maximum possible number of people, we have to CAPTIVATE the off-the-street spectators, the local news crews, the local governments, and inspire them to sponsor and create new teams, in new schools, everywhere. The GDC has been trying really hard since 2010 to create simpler games, with easier-to-understand scoring and rules that can be conveyed to a total outsider in a few short sentences. They hit a home run in 2012 on this front as far as I'm concerned.

Rebound Rumble in 7 sentences:

Its robot basketball, there are 18 balls on the field, and 4 baskets for each alliance to score in. The top basket is worth 3 points, middle worth 2, and bottom worth 1. Matches are 2:15 long, and begin with a 15 second Hybrid period, in which robots must operate on their own code without driver input (except Kinect). During hybrid, balls scored carry a bonus of 3 pts on top of their ordinary value. During the last 30 seconds of the match, teams attempt to balance on the alliance bridges and coopertition bridge. Alliance bridges are worth 10 pts for one bot, 20 pts for two, and during eliminations 40 pts for 3. Balancing the coopertition bridge is worth bonus ranking points equivalent to winning the match.
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