Monday, June 23, 2008

Margriet, the Random

At UMC, they have organized an EK (european championship) pool within the department. I somehow did not participate, but my utrecht supervisor did. Margriet filled in two separate prediction sets: one based on her intuition/guess as everybody usually does, and one based on a random generator.

What she did was to count the number of zeros, ones, twos, threes etc. scored in the previous EK; and then assign scores to the games based on the probability of these scores.

And, now EK is coming to the end with all semi-finalists are already known. This morning, I have checked her random semi-final match predictions:
Russia- Spain
Germany- Austria

Unbelievable! She could predict the three of four semi-finalists and their matching, with only mistake being Austria instead of Turkey.

And, in the final updated list of the pool, she ranks the first among about 30 participants with her random prediction, even beating her intuitive prediction.

The all other 29 people must be feeling really bad; they predicted worse than random :)

This reminded me the day when Ewoud, Maikel, Filipe, Kaustubh and I gathered in my place in January for dinner, and played the card game take-5. Kaustubh preferred to play random cards in one round, and he was not the worst.

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