[2010 Ideas] WCA Delegate provides scrambles

MadsMohr (2010-01-30 16:04:03 +0000)
The current regulations has no direct wording on who provides scrambles. It's somewhat covered by 1b1 and 4b. I suggest that we make it a responsibility for the WCA Delegate to provide scrambles for a competition. The organizers should still be responsible for working out which events to hold and how the grouping should be. This should be finalized 1 week before the competition starts. This could be implemented in several ways: [list:4f6vzfz1][*:4f6vzfz1]The easy solution is to just make the WCA Delegate generate and print the scrambles and bring them to the competition.[/*:m:4f6vzfz1] [*:4f6vzfz1]An other way is to provide a tool that helps the WCA Delegate to generate scrambles as a PDF file and this are sent to organizers 1-2 days before a competition.[/*:m:4f6vzfz1] [*:4f6vzfz1]The WCA Delegate generates the scrambles 30 minutes before each event are held and prints the scrambles on site.[/*:m:4f6vzfz1][/list:u:4f6vzfz1] If we generate PDF's then we could also easily store the scrambles for each competition as a reference.
Ron (2010-01-30 16:53:34 +0000)
Hi Mads, I agree that the regulations should clarify this. But I prefer a simple four eyes solution. What Ton and I normally do is: - generate the scrambles DURING the competition, at a convenient time (the later, the safer) - generate with at least two people present: an official and the WCA delegate - person 1 is at a distance where the scrambles on the screen can be seen but cannot be read - person 2 uses the computer and generates new scrambles several times, just to show that the scrambles are random - after a few generations person 1 decides which scrambles to use - person 2 starts the print job, immediately after that generates new scrambles or closes the program - person 2 collects the printed scrambles, face down, and folds/covers the scrambles - scrambles are saved in a safe place, under supervision of person 1 AND person 2 Have fun, Ron
jbcm627 (2010-01-30 20:09:19 +0000)
I don't like the idea of generating scrambles during the competition, since it uses up time that could be better spent. It also lends itself - as unintentional as it may be - to the person who has generated the scrambles being more likely to be able to recall the position of some colored pieces in an image, especially if there is a prominent feature on an image (such as a whole side solved). I've always generated scrambles well before the competition (at least a day or two), so there is no chance I can recall what any of the scrambles look like. I then place them in (a) sealed envelope(s) until the competition, in the order of events, so there is also no need to sift through them. I also don't like this idea: [quote="Ron":3qsieheb] - person 2 uses the computer and generates new scrambles several times, just to show that the scrambles are random - after a few generations person 1 decides which scrambles to use [/quote:3qsieheb] It seems like it lends itself to multiple people viewing the scramble images more carefully and for longer right before an event they might be competing in. It also sounds like the scramblers are in fact choosing scrambles that are less random, if person 1 is picking a set of scrambles based on how 'scrambled' or 'random' they look. A single random [i:3qsieheb]computer[/i:3qsieheb] generation, with [i:3qsieheb]no human input[/i:3qsieheb], should be all that is needed. To the end that I'd like to minimize human interaction and input, and also have an electronic copy of the scrambles, I'd like to see a single program capable of generating all the scrambles for a competition at once in a printable, savable format (eg, scrambles with 1 event per page in a PDF).
MadsMohr (2010-01-30 21:10:15 +0000)
I as an organizer would also prefer to generate the scrambles before the competition. But if it would get required then we would then have to adapt by have more having slack in the schedule. I understood the selection process that Ron described as an extra randomness factor. The person that uses the computer just generates some scrambles and the 2. person that can't see the scrambles clearly just randomly decides when to stop generating. That scramble would then be used.
BryanLogan (2010-01-30 22:22:20 +0000)
The other thing I wouldn't want is to be required to haul a printer to the competition. But yes, it would be nice to have an generator that you can just give it events/round/groups and it just does everything.
CharlieCooper (2010-01-31 12:30:28 +0000)
Following other discussions I have had with many of you, I really do think the delegate should be providing the scrambles as this allows such an important thing to be done by somebody who is officially trusted by the WCA. It also lessens the cheating allegations that can arise from an organiser having good results in a competition. Although it is obviously the best solution in terms of keeping the scrambles safe, I do not think that printing them works at every competition. Not everyone has access to a printer that they can bring to a competition for a start, and what happens in the case that the printer breaks mid-competition? At a recent competition doing the certificates alone caused the printer to have a problem, so I wouldn't want to rely on it for all the scrambles too. With a small organisation team and a lot of competitors I fail to see how this solution could always work as it just creates extra tasks on the day of the competition, for which there is not always time. I think that having the delegate always provide the scrambles is the best solution, even though it does create more work for a delegate. Perhaps in some cases where this is not possible, i.e. a delegate not having enough time or the means to do this, organisers can ask the board for permission to deal with the scrambles so that the situation is known. One person alone can deal with the scrambles and can be trusted to keep them safe and fair. In any case, although this is not by any means something I know how to do, a program which can allow all the scrambles to be generated at once and printed altogether would greatly ease the workload of the task and is something that should definitely be discussed.
Ron (2010-02-01 07:03:58 +0000)
The procedure I described can of course also be done BEFORE a competition. Then keep the scrambles in sealed and signed envelopes.
CharlieCooper (2010-02-01 12:57:02 +0000)
[quote="Ron":nijj3zgo]The procedure I described can of course also be done BEFORE a competition. Then keep the scrambles in sealed and signed envelopes.[/quote:nijj3zgo] It's true that it can be, but in the instance where a delegate is arriving the same morning of the competition, or very late the night before, how do we deal with that? Also, it may be the the competition isn't taking place near the home of the organiser, which would suggest that there wouldn't be a printer available.
anders (2010-02-01 13:39:22 +0000)
I support the idea that the WCA delegate should provide the scrambles, as I suggested last year (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=492). I think it should be up to the delegate to decide when he wants to generate the scrambles. At Bangkok Open 2010, the WCA delegate (Wan) generated several sheets of scrambles just before the event and then the "visting delegate" (that is, me ;) randomly picked one of the sheets.
Ron (2010-02-02 08:27:42 +0000)
[quote:urocq544]It's true that it can be, but in the instance where a delegate is arriving the same morning of the competition, or very late the night before, how do we deal with that? Also, it may be the the competition isn't taking place near the home of the organiser, which would suggest that there wouldn't be a printer available.[/quote:urocq544] 1) I prefer four eyes principle. This can be done anywhere at any time, witnessed by any second pair of eyes. Just make sure the scrambles are safely secured, for example in a sealed envelope. 2) We will make the WCA delegate responsible for generating the scrambles. This does not mean that the WCA delegate will actually print them him/herself. It is also possible to supervise the printing or to have someone else print a bunch and then have the WCA delegate randomly select. As long as the WCA delegate feels secure about the uncontaminated status of the scrambles.
Lucas (2010-02-02 09:41:19 +0000)
I don't care what happens, but accountability is good. I would, however, like to insist that it should be easy to have PDFs of all the scrambles left after the competition. This is easy if things go right, but let's say the competition is under time pressure, and whoever's generating the scrambles decides it's much faster to print directly instead of going through PDF... In fact, Ron has been against it in the past (saying "not yet"), but would it be too cumbersome to mandate saving and publishing all the scrambles?
BryanLogan (2010-02-02 14:28:32 +0000)
[quote="Ron":16rwip12]I prefer four eyes principle. This can be done anywhere at any time, witnessed by any second pair of eyes. [/quote:16rwip12] Anywhere where you have a second pair of eyes. I usually won't meet up with other cubers until the day of the competition.
CharlieCooper (2010-02-02 16:25:06 +0000)
[quote="BryanLogan":2esaytwz][quote="Ron":2esaytwz]I prefer four eyes principle. This can be done anywhere at any time, witnessed by any second pair of eyes. [/quote:2esaytwz] Anywhere where you have a second pair of eyes. I usually won't meet up with other cubers until the day of the competition.[/quote:2esaytwz] Yeah true, I am having a similar concern really. Even if I meet the delegate the night before, I won't necessarily have the printing facilities there.
MadsMohr (2010-02-02 19:09:55 +0000)
[quote="CharlieCooper":2eqz9aqz][quote="BryanLogan":2eqz9aqz][quote="Ron":2eqz9aqz]I prefer four eyes principle. This can be done anywhere at any time, witnessed by any second pair of eyes. [/quote:2eqz9aqz] Anywhere where you have a second pair of eyes. I usually won't meet up with other cubers until the day of the competition.[/quote:2eqz9aqz] Yeah true, I am having a similar concern really. Even if I meet the delegate the night before, I won't necessarily have the printing facilities there.[/quote:2eqz9aqz] A competition is announced at least one month before, it's not the day before. It should be possible to plan this. If it's not possible to meet in time then the delegate could print several sets and let the organizer pick one set at random.
BryanLogan (2010-02-02 22:55:40 +0000)
[quote="MadsMohr":2c02vq7l] A competition is announced at least one month before, it's not the day before. It should be possible to plan this. If it's not possible to meet in time then the delegate could print several sets and let the organizer pick one set at random.[/quote:2c02vq7l] Even if you have a month, you may not still meet the organizer until the competition. And why bother printing serveral sets? Several scrambles for each round/group/event? That's a ton of scrambles to generate when you're not going to use them. Of course, there is no way to determine if all the envelopes are the same anyways. The less people seeing the scrambles, the better. The WCA Delegate is trusted. Have them provide the scrambles. It's not that the organizers aren't trusted, but if we're trying to prevent one from trying something funny, it's pointless to take several scrambles from them and pick one. They could've made them all duplicate or memorized the solution for one solve on all seven sheets. Having a two person solution also doesn't help when the organizer and delegate are the same.
MadsMohr (2010-02-03 12:56:38 +0000)
[quote="BryanLogan":1phy611s]Even if you have a month, you may not still meet the organizer until the competition.[/quote:1phy611s] Then it's your own fault if you can't plan better. [quote="BryanLogan":1phy611s]Of course, there is no way to determine if all the envelopes are the same anyway[/quote:1phy611s] Perhaps by checking their contents? [quote="BryanLogan":1phy611s] Having a two person solution also doesn't help when the organizer and delegate are the same.[/quote:1phy611s] The second pair of eyes is not limited to organizers. I agree that this procedure only is as safe as the people involved but it is still an improvement over the "place all trust on the organizer"
BryanLogan (2010-02-03 13:10:38 +0000)
[quote="MadsMohr":346f3kmn][quote="BryanLogan":346f3kmn]Even if you have a month, you may not still meet the organizer until the competition.[/quote:346f3kmn] Then it's your own fault if you can't plan better. [/quote:346f3kmn] Really? It's a five hour drive to Chicago. I see absolutely no point in making that trip solely for scrambles. [quote="MadsMohr":346f3kmn] [quote="BryanLogan":346f3kmn]Of course, there is no way to determine if all the envelopes are the same anyway[/quote:346f3kmn] Perhaps by checking their contents? [/quote:346f3kmn] Just what I want to do, go through several envelopes to ensure their uniqueness, and then actually choose one after seeing them. Choosing scrambles by seeing them is bad. You're doing filtering that's inconsistent across all delegates. I suppose you could randomly pick, and then ensure there were no duplicates. Of course, this doesn't solve the fact that you make someone spend a ton of time and paper making several scrambles that will never be used. [quote="MadsMohr":346f3kmn] [quote="BryanLogan":346f3kmn] Having a two person solution also doesn't help when the organizer and delegate are the same.[/quote:346f3kmn] The second pair of eyes is not limited to organizers. [/quote:346f3kmn] So where do we draw the line? Any competitor that's going to the competition? What if that competitor doesn't show up. I'm not on a college campus with a cube club, I do not see cubers until competition. Could I just have a cat select the scrambles?
DanCohen (2010-02-03 13:28:51 +0000)
[quote="BryanLogan":14jdgtk0] So where do we draw the line? Any competitor that's going to the competition? What if that competitor doesn't show up. I'm not on a college campus with a cube club, I do not see cubers until competition. Could I just have a cat select the scrambles?[/quote:14jdgtk0] Actually, having a cat pick the scrambles would be quite sufficient. He can even look at them and it would not be a problem.
CharlieCooper (2010-02-03 16:32:16 +0000)
[quote="DanCohen":1ijkk2j4][quote="BryanLogan":1ijkk2j4] So where do we draw the line? Any competitor that's going to the competition? What if that competitor doesn't show up. I'm not on a college campus with a cube club, I do not see cubers until competition. Could I just have a cat select the scrambles?[/quote:1ijkk2j4] Actually, having a cat pick the scrambles would be quite sufficient. He can even look at them and it would not be a problem.[/quote:1ijkk2j4] A cat may have difficulty in signing the envelopes. I think it *is* a bit impractical, and not to mention wasteful, to print multiple scrambles that will end up not being used. How many copies is enough to be sure that the person who has printed them hasn't memorised all of the information they may wish to? A delegate is a delegate because they are trusted by the WCA for many reasons. Surely this is enough to allow delegates to provide the scrambles for a competition without having to worry about a second pair of eyes, printing at the competition etc.
jbcm627 (2010-02-04 02:54:50 +0000)
[quote="jbcm627":2j03tavv]To the end that I'd like to minimize human interaction and input, and also have an electronic copy of the scrambles, I'd like to see a single program capable of generating all the scrambles for a competition at once in a printable, savable format (eg, scrambles with 1 event per page in a PDF).[/quote:2j03tavv] Proof of concept: http://koii.cubingusa.com/lib/scrambles ... mbles.html [quote="Lucas":2j03tavv]I would, however, like to insist that it should be easy to have PDFs of all the scrambles left after the competition.[/quote:2j03tavv] Which can easily be converted to a PDF using something like: http://www.cutepdf.com/ Stumbling blocks: - ensuring 1 set of scrambles per page - 3x3 scrambles...
Dene (2010-02-06 08:23:33 +0000)
[quote="MadsMohr":ljdknwy5][quote="BryanLogan":ljdknwy5]Even if you have a month, you may not still meet the organizer until the competition.[/quote:ljdknwy5] Then it's your own fault if you can't plan better.[/quote:ljdknwy5] I don't care about anything else that you've said, but this statement has to be the most rude and ignorant statement I could ever imagine in such a civil discussion. Just last weekend I delegated a competition in a different country (Australia), to which I had to fly (there is a vast ocean between the countries). The tickets cost me NZ$450. I have been working 6 days a week. It so happened that I was fortunate enough to get an extra day off work so that I could arrive on the day before the competition. I also happened to be staying with the competition organiser. So if we wanted we could have gone through with this procedure. But what if I couldn't get that extra day off work, and could only arrive on the morning of the competition, and get there just in time for the start, and we didn't have access to a printer? Are you saying that I should have demanded time off work to spend another $450 beforehand to go to a different country just to generate scrambles in the safest possible way? Please think about what you are saying before you go around insulting people.
MadsMohr (2010-02-06 10:00:09 +0000)
Dene I'm sorry that you took personal offense by my general statement. But I still believe that it should be possible to plan better. It's at least a month in advance and under your more challenging conditions I would imagine that you had planned the date more than a month in advance? If I had to be a delegate and fly there then I would have planned it so it would fit. Remember that the example you gave was from the current situation where it's not the delegate that has the responsibility to provide scrambles. If that responsibility existed then you would have to fit that into your planning when deciding on a date. Sorry for sounding rude, I sometimes do that when I write in my second language.
Dene (2010-02-06 22:47:43 +0000)
I'm not too offended. I just think your suggestion is extremely naive. It is simply impractical. Delegates and organisers have other responsibilities in life, and no amount of planning is going to change that. It might be easy in Europe, where there is a bounty of delegates and getting across country is a matter of driving an hour. I cannot even get to the other half of the same country without flying, or taking a 3 hour boat trip and driving for at least 5 hours.
MadsMohr (2010-02-07 19:11:27 +0000)
[quote="Dene":23be98sq]Delegates and organisers have other responsibilities in life, and no amount of planning is going to change that.[/quote:23be98sq] I disagree. It's planning that enables us to have other responsibilities in life and doing this kind of community work at the same time. It's way too easy to say that planning does not work.
TMOY (2010-02-07 21:36:51 +0000)
Good planning starts by avoiding things that are obviously a complete waste of time and money. Like a 5 or 10 (or more)-hour trip only to print a few sheets of paper, for example.
MadsMohr (2010-02-07 23:55:50 +0000)
Yes, a 5 or 10 hour drive for just printing something is waste of time and money.
MadsMohr (2010-02-08 14:24:21 +0000)
[quote="jbcm627":1y8m46kl]Which can easily be converted to a PDF using something like: http://www.cutepdf.com/ Stumbling blocks: - ensuring 1 set of scrambles per page - 3x3 scrambles...[/quote:1y8m46kl] I've also made a proof of concept. [url:1y8m46kl]http://live.speedcubing.dk/scrambles.action[/url:1y8m46kl] This generates scrambles as a PDF-file using Herbert Kociemba's java implementation of the 2-phase algorithm. Currently only the raw definition string are shown in the PDF. My first attempt at using the solver crashed my server. According to Herbert is it using the same random state generator and it's only limited by java's random generator.
jbcm627 (2010-02-08 18:32:03 +0000)
[quote="MadsMohr":2tt06z4s] I've also made a proof of concept. [url:2tt06z4s]http://live.speedcubing.dk/scrambles.action[/url:2tt06z4s] This generates scrambles as a PDF-file using Herbert Kociemba's java implementation of the 2-phase algorithm. Currently only the raw definition string are shown in the PDF. My first attempt at using the solver crashed my server. According to Herbert is it using the same random state generator and it's only limited by java's random generator.[/quote:2tt06z4s] Interesting. Although previously, Ron has requested javascript / client-side implementations of the scramblers, so they can be run offline. But I personally don't see a problem with an application running server-side in addition to this, perhaps as long as both are available. I finished hacking together a fair amount myself, (but not 3x3, which Mads has been able to do): http://koii.cubingusa.com/lib/scrambles ... mbles.html None of the options at the bottom work yet (so no 3x3), and you should turn your popup blocker off. I've heavily modified the image generation so each set of scrambles should appear on one page, and printing background colors wouldn't be an issue. It looks like the clock <pre> tags are still causing issues, but other than that, it just uses the current scramble code. Of course, instead of using all these popups, it would be nice to move the existing code/functions inside classes. Even if neither this nor another program to generate many scrambles at once are used, I would like to see the modifications I've made to the image display used. This will at least fix the issues present when printing straight from a browser.
MadsMohr (2010-02-08 19:16:32 +0000)
[quote="jbcm627":1pphc1fo]Interesting. Although previously, Ron has requested javascript / client-side implementations of the scramblers, so they can be run offline.[/quote:1pphc1fo] The current scrambler for 3x3x3 is a Windows program and it would be easy to make a stand alone java program using Herbert's package. I already had the PDF running on my live results webapp for generating certificates from the scores, so it was much faster to just call the scrambler from an action. It should also be possible to add random state scrambling as a scrambler plugin for CCT. [edit] The thing that crashed my server was building the pruning tables. The tables has now been built and I have enabled solution search. The solution should of course be reversed to give the generator.
Lucas (2010-02-09 01:07:23 +0000)
[quote="MadsMohr":2c78hcvv][url:2c78hcvv]http://live.speedcubing.dk/scrambles.action[/url:2c78hcvv] [/quote:2c78hcvv] Have you seen [url:2c78hcvv]http://cube.garron.us/WCA/proposals/random_state_3x3x3/kociemba.html[/url:2c78hcvv]?
MadsMohr (2010-02-09 08:20:37 +0000)
[quote="Lucas":1724ajsp][quote="MadsMohr":1724ajsp][url:1724ajsp]http://live.speedcubing.dk/scrambles.action[/url:1724ajsp] [/quote:1724ajsp] Have you seen [url:1724ajsp]http://cube.garron.us/WCA/proposals/random_state_3x3x3/kociemba.html[/url:1724ajsp]?[/quote:1724ajsp] Very cool! Great stuff :)
Ron (2010-02-24 22:33:39 +0000)
Included in WCA Regulations 2010 that the WCA delegate is responsible. Not part of the regulations, but additions in change history: May be delegated under supervision. Four eyes principes is preferred.