Mitch's Wooden coaster poll

Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:44 AM
If this has been posted already, a thousand pardons. But does everyone know that Balder came out #1 on Mitch's poll? I won't spoil the rest, but IMHO the results were quite a surprise. (except for PGA's Grizzly coming last......again!!)

http://www.geocities.com/wcoasterpoll/wcprs03.txt

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:58 AM
The rankings of all the Cyclone-Clones will always remain a mystery to me.

Aska is a carbon copy of Wild Wild West in Germany (RCCA/Intamin, traditional style)which came in (deservedly) at 141.

I know that this poll is considered the most accurate, but nonetheless I think that a "Fan group" can easily manipulate the outcome.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 2:02 AM
I personally think that the Golden Tickets are in general a lot better, hey anything that puts Raven over 200 pts over every other coaster wins some big points. But I do like the fact that Ozark Wildcat broke the top ten, which it needed to. Good job to it, Ozark Wildcat, but boo on the fact thata Timbers yet again beat Raven, why this ahs happed is a mystery to me, but hey, maybe I just don't get Timbers greatness.
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Sunday, December 7, 2003 2:32 AM
From an objective standpoint (without looking at the results and saying, "Gee, I don't like these results so this polls sucks") Mitch's poll is far and away the best polling algorithm. It eliminated the popularity contest and doesn't penalize coasters for not being ridden as much. *** Edited 12/7/2003 7:33:33 AM UTC by ApolloAndy***
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Sunday, December 7, 2003 8:29 AM
While never riding Balder, it looks desrving. Sadly, Ghostrider came in 12th but I'll live...somehow.
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Sunday, December 7, 2003 11:11 AM
Yes, the Golden Ticket awards are better because they agree with you.

It seems that all the naysayers of Mitch's poll are the ones who are a little too attached to the notion that their favorite coaster is the best ever...

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 12:32 PM
My Favorite coaster came in 148th. Boo.:(

Although my second Favorite , Thunder Run , DOES NOT get the praise it deserves. IMO , easily better than Raven.

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Aska? What the crap is that?

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:22 PM
Pardon my lack of knowledge, but I have never heard of this poll before and was just wondering how it works?

Was the outcome that Balder is the worlds best wooden coaster - surely this is not the case? Out of interest where did Thunder Coaster (Vekoma in Scandinavia) come?

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:43 PM
I thought Balder qualified for the steel coaster poll... ;)
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Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:50 PM
Why is this not the case? Balder runs great stock on a great new rail technology and looks like it has air up the wazoo.

The algorithm is pretty much as follows:

Everyone submits a ballot of their coasters in order.

For every pair of coasters, (so for instance, Balder and Tremors) the alogorithm finds every ballot that has both of the coasters.

For each of these ballots, the algorithm compares where the two coasters placed relative to each other. If Balder was ahead, Balder gets a tally. If Tremors was ahead, Tremors gets a tally. When all the votes are counted, whichever coaster has the most tallies get a win. The other coaster gets a loss.

The rank is determined by a win-loss record.

Notice that this tallying process occurs for each pair of coasters which results in (number of coasters)^2 "games" being played. Also notice that each ballot has (n^2)/2 data points (each coaster compared to every other coaster on the ballot).

Implications:

So if Balder wins with a perfect record (which it did) that means that no coaster is prefered by more of the people who have ridden that coaster and Balder.

This also means that if you haven't ridden a coaster, you don't tally for it or against it in any game that it is playing.

It also means that results with few riders (see Aska) can get quite skewed.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 1:52 PM
A random question because I'm too lazy to think through the math right now:

What would be the result if Mitch just counted all the relative comparisons within each ballot as wins and losses and didn't do the "games?"

Would the poll be more/less/equally fair?

What about if it were done by preferential ballot?

The reason I'm thinking about this is because it seems like in Mitch's current implementation there're some possibile scenarios where the addition or removal of a coaster could flip the rankings of two unrelated coasters, which seems wrong to me. *** Edited 12/7/2003 7:13:23 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 2:11 PM

thepinkdoomofmonkeys said:
Although my second Favorite, Thunder Run, DOES NOT get the praise it deserves.

It ranks 28th in the coasters ridden this year category, which isn't shabby at all. I think that ranking, especially for wooden coasters, is the most informational. Texas Giant ranks 24th in the overall poll, but 40th when ridden this year, while, as Mitch points out, Texas Cyclone ranks 86th overall, but 35th when ridden this year.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 2:49 PM
Apollo:

The result would be different beacuse it would not put my favorite versus your favorite. Without the you vs me factor, there is no comparison. The results would favor the coasters that get ridden the most, no matter where you rank them.

This would make the poll less fair.

Preferential would skew the results even more, based on the same factor, the more rides a coaster gives, the more likely of getting voted for.

The removal of a coaster should not affect the poll, because those who have ridden it can still rank it compared to operating coasters. (If that's what you meant)

The first time I read about Mitch's poll, I was unsure of its validity, but it really (for the most part) makes the playing field even. I do believe that it has a tendancy to favor (or cripple) a new coaster. I think that's how Balder got the #1. I still think Balder MUST be really good to even break into the top 10, so it's got something going for it. But, look at MegaFobia and Tonnerre de Zeus, both former #1's, both from Europe, both have dropped considerably since their #1 ranking. Makes me think that if you are new and kind of good and happen to be in Europe, you'll end up #1 on this poll, at least for a while.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 5:02 PM
Soggy: Nice analysis on the other voting methods.

The thing that always bugs me about Mitch's poll is that he has to run it twice. Once with "Fav. steel" and once without. It seems to me that the result of the without should be exactly the same as the with (save the steel of course). It strikes me that this is not the case, though I haven't figured out quite why it happens and whether it's really that bad.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 7:24 PM

Olsor said:
It ranks 28th in the coasters ridden this year category, which isn't shabby at all. I think that ranking, especially for wooden coasters, is the most informational. Texas Giant ranks 24th in the overall poll, but 40th when ridden this year, while, as Mitch points out, Texas Cyclone ranks 86th overall, but 35th when ridden this year.

But still , the ride has airtime(bunnyhop bliss, fourth drop), laterals(those crazy speed turns), sensation of speed( an average speed of 48 mph),and an out of control feeling(the whole thing is insane). There's no reason why it shouldn't rank higher.

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Man , if Sonny was refitted with Millenium Flyer trains , I bet it would jump about 80 spots.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 7:28 PM
I can think of two -- it's rather short and has a horrible long stretch of flat, straight boring track after the insane beginning.

Other than that, Thunder Run is a a fantastic wooden coaster, one that I always look forward to riding in row 1.2.

But there are many other wooden coasters that do more (and do it more often) than Thunder Run.

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 7:38 PM
Oddly , neither one of those detracts from the ride for me. The long stretch is like a breather from the insane begining and a lead-up-to the next insane turn. And the shortness just makes it so you don't get bored. Oh well , I guess it's just a matter of opinion.

Thunder Run Fanboy #1 !!!!;)

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Although I would like to see another insane bunny hop on that long stretch and an air filled jump into the final brakes......

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Sunday, December 7, 2003 10:38 PM
That's the spirit, pinkdoom! Pimp that ride. :)
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Monday, December 8, 2003 12:10 AM
I definitely agree that this poll offers a more accurate view of how the coasters rank amongst the enthusiast community, and I look forward to it every year.

Im upset to see the Ga Cyclone falling further down the list this year, however, and I hope it does better next time around. I would hate to see it leave the top 25.

Also, the Texas Cyclone is indeed a fantastic ride these days. I was impressed both this season and last season by its performance, and I believe that its rankings will improve as its ridership in its current conditions increases.

One more thing that surprises me about the results of this poll every year is the ranking of the Legend. I feel it deserves higher, but I guess it doesnt matter what i feel, does it? Lol.

Anyway, here's looking forward to next year's poll and what new wooden coasters are added to it!

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Monday, December 8, 2003 12:23 PM

ApolloAndy said:

So if Balder wins with a perfect record (which it did) that means that no coaster is prefered by more of the people who have ridden that coaster and Balder.


And in this case more people means 11. To me that is much too small of a sampling to determine a number one coaster. I like this poll, I find it interesting, but it is not without its flaws. A few well-travelled people can really skew the results.

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