Today and yesterday, in the Philly regional, i noticed that top-tier(better designed, better equipped) robots seemed to be paired up together; while low-tier (teams that didnt have much funding, big names, etc…) were paired together AGAINST the top-tier alliances. Im including the match records (courtesy of TBA) so you can see for yourself:
I know the people that wrote the match scheduler. I’ve read their paper on how it works. I ran the match scheduler as scorekeeper in Seattle. Any pattern you’ve discerned is not a result of intention on the part of the algorithm. Trust me. I can’t think of anyone in FIRST whose integrity I trust more than Tom’s and Cathy’s.
Philly’s pairings did seem distinctly inconsistent with the excellent match scheduling I’ve seen at the other regionals so far this year.
It honestly felt like we were using last years algorithm (a poor version of it) to generate the matches - we were with or against the same teams 2-3 times/team over the course of the regional. In 11 matches with a field of 44, this shouldn’t have happened to the extent it did.
My only thought is that perhaps someone did not understand the algorithm entirely and put improper constraints on it, locking it into poor schedule choices.
No complaints, though - such is the nature of FIRST. Luck is all part of the game.
I find your observation interesting, I didn’t see that at all.
103 played 272, 341, 357, and 365.
272 played 103, 341, 365 and 1511.
341 played 103, 272, 357, 365, and 1511.
357 played 103, 341, 365, and 1511.
365 played 103, 272, 341, and 357.
1511 played 272, 341, and 357.
I’m not really sure how much more the “big name teams” can play each-other.
I think the claim that the “big name” teams were together for the entire time are entirely spurious - I will, however, say that a number of teams had clustered plays - one team playing another multiple times, or one team playing with another multiple times.
This was NOT limited to the “big name” teams playing with/against one another, and indeed did NOT have any appreciable effect on the outcome of the event.
The teams that got into the afternoon would’ve gotten there regardless of the qualification matches (for the most part). They were chosen, or chose, because they had the best 'bots at the regional, not because they did or did not play each other.
We just competed in both the Peachtree and Bayou Regional and we did find that we were playing either with or against many of the same teams. I do not question the integrity of FIRST, however, I do think the algorithm could be adjusted. As someone earlier stated…the luck of the game is the nature of FIRST. One just hopes they get the better end of the deal!!
That’s just it I can’t do the math becasue we don’t know the algorithm. If the algorithm is so truly random what does it matter if they supply it to the teams. I would be interested in running a few test situations of my own to see how the matches play out.
Also we need to identify “RANDOM” because is it ever truly possible to define random with a simple algorithm the human mind understands when the mind can not grasp the concept random.
Uhhh… I was referring to in the qualifications. All those match-ups I mentioned were qualification matches. I was using “big name” teams that made the eliminations as my example six teams of playing one another in the qualifications. As you can see, all six of those teams faced at least three of the other five at least once in qualifications. 341 played against all five others.
When you play eleven matches, you will be paired with 22 teams and against 33 others. With 55 spots, and only 44 teams, it’s literally impossible to not play with/against the same team(s) multiple times. With the time and other constraints added, it means that you will miss the opportunity to play a few teams, and you will play with few teams multiple times.
The 2008 match generation algorithm is not a secret. It was discussed extensively on the FIRST Forum before the 2008 FRC season started. The improvements that FIRST introduced this year were suggested by the people mentioned in an earlier post in this thread.
At the Connecticut Regional, they did a good job of putting us with a team once and against them once, if we were in a match with them twice. I felt like we played a lot of matches with young teams on our alliance and against us, so it basically evened out the competition. Older teams seemed to be with and against older teams, primarily. So it wasn’t really that unfair. There were also matches that seemed to be a good mix of teams. Maybe the Philly matches were just a coincidence?
The problem I have with this ‘random’ match schedule, is that it can be redone if they feel there are ‘too many repeat’. By doing this it is no longer a random schedule. While I don’t think this is likely, it leaves the door open for someone to rerun the program because of an unfavorable schedule.
Except that the scheduler is run by volunteers who are mostly under major pressure to get the match list printed (on a printer that only works about one in four tries) and distributed to dozens of anxious teams as soon as possible. We don’t give a big furry rat what the match list is as long as it will finish on time and print the first time. Carefully scrutinizing the match list to give one or another team a huge advantage is so far from being important that – well, analogies fail me. We want to run a fair tournament that finishes on schedule. The volunteers, for the most part, have zippy-de-doo-dah interest in who actually wins. I, for one, could not even tell you who won Seattle, and I watched every single match from about four feet away. I can tell you that every team I talked to was happy about the venue, the officiating, and the volunteers. That’s a win to a volunteer.
The idea that we would keep re-running the match list to meet some competitive profile is something I literally never considered until you suggested it. I know for sure that my scorekeeping partner and I would have laughed at the idea. (Although, as I posted elsewhere, we did redo the match schedule once to give a particular team an early match to meet the needs of the television coverage.)