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Unread 01-09-2018, 10:39 AM
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Unfairness in plate assignment

This link shows two examples of plate assignments.

In example 1 the field is totally fair, so that is fine.

In example 2 I think the blue alliance has an advantage in autonomous. The advantage I see is that a team could easily drive to the switch, place a cube, and then get a cube and place it on the scale without crossing the width of the field. For teams with very good programming I think that would give them enough time to place a second cube on the scale in autonomous, which would counter the cube red might have placed after having to cross the field (and having to cross the cable protector, possibly screwing up their autonomous) .

Does this unfair field bother anyone else? The GDC is usually so good about mirroring or rotating the field so that there is no built in advantage to one alliance.

What I would like to see is a change so that the randomizer picks between 4 options: RRR, LLL, RLR, LRL. Those assignments always give fair fields, and it would still give a lot of variation in the games. It might produce slightly different average scores when all the plates are on one side, but at least it would be fair for both teams on the field.

Another option would be in eliminations, check that the plate assignment isn't the same or mirrored from the last time each pair of teams played, if it is then run the randomizer again. That way one alliance wouldn't get 2 "good" assignments.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 10:48 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

A04 is a attempt at fixing the issue.


A04. Stay out of your opponentís side of the FIELD. During AUTO, no part of a ROBOTíS BUMPERS may pass from the NULL TERRITORY to the opponentís side of the FIELD.
Violation: FOUL. If contact is made with an opponent ROBOT in their side of the FIELD (either direct contact or transitive contact through a POWER CUBE), TECH FOUL. Violations of this rule are likely to escalate rapidly to YELLOW or RED CARDS.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 10:49 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

I think it is all a matter of perspective/strategy. For example, say you coordinate with your alliance partner that one of you will prioritize scale while the other will prioritize the switch. In the case of example 2, red will have the advantage because it is possible that neither would have to cross the length of the field while at least one of the blue robots would with the same strategy. Or maybe both red robots will have to because of robot placement. We are obviously going to have a significant luck factor this year but I don't think that it will be so much as to say one side will have a match-deciding advantage purely because of the assignments due to other variables that affect it.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 10:55 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Actually, I think that in example 2, the Red alliance has it easier. With two robots that can drop off cubes in switch or scale, the two robots can do both without interfering with each other (one does switch on the left, the other scale on the right).

Picking up a cube during auto is much harder though I agree that if you can do it, then you want both your platforms to be on the same side.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 10:56 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Since its "randomish" it'll even out over say 10 Quals and 5 Elims = 15 games

Could make a difference in elims with only 5-7 games though but that's why you pick partners

Yes, the first 15 secs will not decide the game.
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Last edited by Boltman : 01-09-2018 at 11:04 AM.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:03 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Quote:
Originally Posted by egaudet View Post
Actually, I think that in example 2, the Red alliance has it easier. With two robots that can drop off cubes in switch or scale, the two robots can do both without interfering with each other (one does switch on the left, the other scale on the right).

Picking up a cube during auto is much harder though I agree that if you can do it, then you want both your platforms to be on the same side.
I agree. Red also has the advantage of knowing that their scale and switch will always be on opposite sides of the field. Whereas, blue has to plan for a scenario where they are on the same side or opposite sides.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:04 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

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Originally Posted by brandn03 View Post
I agree. Red also has the advantage of knowing that their scale and switch will always be on opposite sides of the field. Whereas, blue has to plan for a scenario where they are on the same side or opposite sides.
However, the more I look at that link the more it looks like those are just 2 examples, and not the only two scenarios.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:12 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Its basically during AUTO to score both plates:


Scale Own Switch

R B (Always CROSS)
B R (Always CROSS)
B B (May cross or drive straight)
R R (May cross or drive straight)


So after 4 games you should be exposed to all combos (ignore the other switch in auto)
Only 1 in 4 do you likely have a straight shot for easier double auto.

So I don't expect many doubles unless helped by another team on your alliance
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Last edited by Boltman : 01-09-2018 at 11:21 AM.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:33 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Hi Boltman,

Long time, no see.

Anyway, since it's gotten a bit warmer around here these days I figured I'd hop on and check out this new game!

I gotta say I agree with you here on this Boltman. Seems like people are really overplaying this whole random thing! Life's random sometimes guys you gotta be able to roll with the punches!

With the majority of playoff match-ups only lasting 2 matches. That means that there's on a small chance (17 percent I believe if it hasn't been too long) that your alliance could have the "bad" setup for both matches! That shouldn't discourage you because that's a real low number and auto never makes the difference from what I've seen. Remember that the other alliance could also have gotten that "bad" break!

As mentioned by my peer, it'll all even out in the end so I think everyone should all just look at how to best work around when it happens to them!

Best Regards,
RM

Last edited by Rivet Man : 01-09-2018 at 11:46 AM.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:50 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Game 1 25% of a favorable set up
Game 2 25% of a favorable set up

Chance of favorable in both is only 6.25%
Chance of having to cross in one or more is 93.75%


I think.
Of course that is if doing both solo.
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Last edited by Boltman : 01-09-2018 at 11:52 AM.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:55 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Hi Boltman,

Perfect!
Those numbers are even lower than I thought!

Thanks for cranking out the hard math, don't get what everyone is so worked up about.

Best Regards,
RM
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:56 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

I for one am going to try to track light patterns to see if truly near-random, for a long time I've suspected with a feeling game pairings (the schedule) in qualifications to not be random (doubt they are meant to be) and somehow oddly favor and create powerful alliances for certain teams more frequently in years than others, this will be easier to see and verify.

Will be interesting.
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Last edited by Boltman : 01-09-2018 at 12:25 PM.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 11:58 AM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

This will be a factor in teleop as well. Having your scale and switch plates on the same side makes one of your portal cycles easier and potentially shorter because you don't have to worry about the opponent's null zone. It will also let you choose where the power cube should be scored later in the cycle.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 12:17 PM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

Though the randomness will even out over all, the random plate placements will, unfortunately, decide some matches for teams.

Regardless of which layout is better or worse for which side, there will definitely be some upset alliances due to pure randomness and the layout of the field.

If an alliance gets 2 matches in a row in which they have a less than optimal scale side, the other alliance could control the scale for the entire match from that advantage in auto.

If that happens twice in a row it could be devastating to alliances. I think autonomous is quite possibly the most important it has ever been in a FIRST game this year. Once the scale advantage is taken it is going to be difficult to gain it back; it is an uphill battle for the disadvantaged team.

Or maybe teams will just have to make sure their many autonomous routines are consistent and capable starting from any side.

Because of the number of different factors listed here, I think this year #1 seeds will win more events than just about any other year.
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Unread 01-09-2018, 12:27 PM
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Re: Unfairness in plate assignment

I think the chance of having two "bad" setups in both matches is 6.25%

There are 8 setups, 2 of which are "bad"* only for red, 2 are "bad" only for blue, and 4 are fair(2 are "bad" for both alliances, 2 are "good" for both alliances) . (underlined are unfair** and "bad"* setups from the perspective of red): RRR, RRL, RLR, RLL, LRR, LRL, LLR, LLL

So a 2/8 chance on the first match times 2/8 chance on the second match=4/64=1/16=6.25%.

I think that the imbalance is small, and I agree that it will probably not make a difference.

What is strange to me is that the GDC left this bit of random unfairness that could have easily been eliminated.

They (the GDC) generally try to eliminate random unfairness where possible. The qualification match scheduler does a ton of work to make the match schedule as fair as possible. In 2016 the audience selection was the same for both alliances. In 2008 the track ball positions were random, but the same for each alliance (your color on the right side of your overpass I think). In 2005 the position of vision tetras was random, but reflectively mirrored to make it fair.


* "bad" means the alliances switch plate and scale plate are on opposite sides. this is subjective, some teams would prefer this setup.

** "unfair" means the field has neither rotational or reflective symmetry. this is not subjective, it is objectively unfair because of this difference.

Last edited by Bennett548 : 01-09-2018 at 12:31 PM.
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