master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive heats

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pack529holycross
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master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive heats

Post by pack529holycross » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:25 pm

My Current Master Schedule has 80 scouts ( 17 TIGERS 15 WOLVES 23 BEARS 22 WEB) within the schedule, 6 lanes, 1 run per lane.

The master schedule seems to be doing 2 bear runs in a row, which is not a big deal, except that it is not preventing back to back heats with 1 scout in each heat. Is it ignoring that parameter set to heavy because I am using a master schedule? I don't really mind the back to back bears runs, but with 23 bears surely it can re-sort the heats to eliminate back-to-back runs for any given scout?

Just wondering if there is a glitch here somewhere.

Nicholas



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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:32 pm

Imagine each schedule as a deck of cards. Master scheduling just shuffles those cards together into one master deck. It just happens that each group deck has differing numbers of cards. GPRM tries to distribute the heats so the smaller groups do not get done too early. The larger range you have in the group sizes, you will see the larger groups run more heats before the smaller groups run. That is by design.


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:36 pm

The back to back issue for any particular scout is really dictated by the scheduling method. There are times when the schedule generator is not able to yield a schedule without having a racer in back to back heats. That is a small price to pay in order to get a schedule for that many racers/lanes/runs per lane. With increasing numbers of lanes and/or lesser numbers of racers, the harder it is to prevent racers running in back to back heats.


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by pack529holycross » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:10 pm

I respect the power and efficiency of the software, but with 23 heats and 6 runs within the round per scout, I would think that the software would at least make an attempt to separate any of them. It does not appear that they are doled out that way. The two heats for the bears that are back to back always have the same scout in each, on adjoining lanes - I.E. racer X in heat 4 in lane 3, and then racer X in heat 5 in lane 4. That pattern of in one lane on the first of the two heats, and the next lane in the next heat, is repeated throughout the schedule. This is in no way a complaint, but I would think re-sorting the heats to exclude racers in consecutive heats would be factored, especially since you have a parameter adjuster that allows us to change the weight of that variable to "heavy". When I set the other two variables to Zero, it still does not change the condition.



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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:31 pm

pack529holycross wrote:I respect the power and efficiency of the software, but with 23 heats and 6 runs within the round per scout, I would think that the software would at least make an attempt to separate any of them. It does not appear that they are doled out that way. The two heats for the bears that are back to back always have the same scout in each, on adjoining lanes - I.E. racer X in heat 4 in lane 3, and then racer X in heat 5 in lane 4. That pattern of in one lane on the first of the two heats, and the next lane in the next heat, is repeated throughout the schedule. This is in no way a complaint, but I would think re-sorting the heats to exclude racers in consecutive heats would be factored, especially since you have a parameter adjuster that allows us to change the weight of that variable to "heavy". When I set the other two variables to Zero, it still does not change the condition.
The conditions you set in the scheduler apply to the group schedule that is generated, not to the master schedule. The master scheduling is just a simple shuffling of the group schedules together. It doesn't matter to the software how the schedules were generated. It would be rather tedious for the software to selectively shuffle the group schedules together to prevent racers in back to back heats and to disperse the heats from any particular group evenly throughout the master.

As I mentioned earlier, with larger numbers of lanes, you will see more of a chance of racers in back to back heats within a given group schedule. With your 6 lane track, I expect that you would see more of an issue there as opposed to someone running only 4 lanes with the same number of racers. Even more so with your smaller groups. It is still better to give you a group schedule where you have racers in back to back heats than no group schedule at all. Those chart options are preferences that the generator is not always able to meet. If it can't, the generator will give you the best group schedule that it can.


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by pack529holycross » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:42 pm

OK.. fair enough.. is there a way to manually re-sort said heats within the master schedule, so that I can print a Master Schedule that results in better efficiency in the staging of cars by separating the "doubled up" heats? In other words, allow the coordinator to manually change the order of heats ( on a master schedule ) where it would increase efficiency for staging, and leave the race results unaffected because the schedule matrix does not change?



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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:55 pm

There is not currently a way to edit the master schedule.

The problem really isn't the master schedule. The problem is with the scheduling method you are using and how well it can generate a 6 lane schedule that you like for the number of racers it is given. You can look at a different scheduling method. Maybe the Phase Shifted Lane Rotation. It doesn't give as good of an opponent equity as Perfect-N, but it is far better than the other types of Lane Rotation schedules. EVERY scheduling method has its limitations, so you need to decide what is more important to you. Personally, I think having some racers in back to back heats is a fairly minor issue. I'd rather see racers go against as many opponents as they can, which Pefect-N does a better job at.


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:45 am

Randy,

I thought that the DLL for PPN included an option to sort the schedule to avoid racing cars in consecutive heats... the web page does, and I was sure that Cory included that option in the DLL. Am I remembering incorrectly? Or did you opt to not support that option? Or did the user not select it?


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by Darin McGrew » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:31 am

Even if the group schedule can't avoid running a car in consecutive heats, there are better ways to interleave the races that can help. For example, imagine three groups: A, B, and C. Groups A and B had the same number of members, and group C has as many members as A and B combined.

One approach would schedule races like this:
A, B, C, C, A, B, C, C, A, B, C, C,...

A simple adjustment prevents any car from being in consecutive races in the combined schedule, even if there are cars in consecutive races in one of the group schedules:
A, C, B, C, A, C, B, C, A, C, B, C,...



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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:22 am

Stan Pope wrote:I thought that the DLL for PPN included an option to sort the schedule to avoid racing cars in consecutive heats... the web page does, and I was sure that Cory included that option in the DLL. Am I remembering incorrectly? Or did you opt to not support that option? Or did the user not select it?
GPRM implements the 3 heat ordering options (keep heat counts even, avoid cars in consecutive races, avoid cars in same lanes in consecutive heats). If there is any other sort option, then I am not aware of it.
Darin McGrew wrote:A simple adjustment prevents any car from being in consecutive races in the combined schedule, even if there are cars in consecutive races in one of the group schedules:
A, C, B, C, A, C, B, C, A, C, B, C,...
That is something that I can look at for the next version of the software. That may seem simple, but trying to write an algorithm to accommodate that for varying numbers of groups and group sizes looks to be more of a challenge.


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by pack529holycross » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:05 am

I would think that it would be simpler to show the heats with a "replace with" option box on the left of the rows --- we have that in our appraisal software when we want to re-sort the order of comparative property data - we click on "replace with", and the software shows us a list of the other data columns, we select, and the data columns swap positions. The same could work for heat order on a master schedule without writing an algorithm. This would give coordinators the opportunities to tweak a master schedule that leaves all of the diversity brainpower unaffected.



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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:05 pm

gpraceman wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:I thought that the DLL for PPN included an option to sort the schedule to avoid racing cars in consecutive heats... the web page does, and I was sure that Cory included that option in the DLL. Am I remembering incorrectly? Or did you opt to not support that option? Or did the user not select it?
GPRM implements the 3 heat ordering options (keep heat counts even, avoid cars in consecutive races, avoid cars in same lanes in consecutive heats). If there is any other sort option, then I am not aware of it.
Yes, the "avoid cars in consecutive races" priority is the one of which I spoke. It does not always avoid a car running in consecutive heats ... sometimes that can't be avoided, but it does a good job in most cases. The down side is that the heat sequence may get rearranged more than is just necessary to prevent consecutive heats. Some folks like the "sequential" appearance of cars in each lane, i.e. if Car X follows Car Y in lane 1, then it also follows in the other lanes.

On the merging of schedules, we can talk algorithms off line. Merging should always be succesful except if the number of heats by one group exceeds the combined number of heats of all other groups by more than one heat.


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Re: master schedule vs. eliminating scouts in consecutive he

Post by gpraceman » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:54 pm

pack529holycross wrote:I would think that it would be simpler to show the heats with a "replace with" option box on the left of the rows --- we have that in our appraisal software when we want to re-sort the order of comparative property data - we click on "replace with", and the software shows us a list of the other data columns, we select, and the data columns swap positions. The same could work for heat order on a master schedule without writing an algorithm. This would give coordinators the opportunities to tweak a master schedule that leaves all of the diversity brainpower unaffected.
Well, I could add a screen to edit the master heat order. However, I doubt that many people would use it as generally schedules are being generated right after check-in, on race day, and many will not want to spend the time to pick through the master in order to arrange the heats more to their liking.

For the next version of the software, I can look at modifying the logic on automatically ordering the heats for the master schedule.

Nicholas,
What do you have the Minimum Alternation set at in the Software Options screen? If that is set an anything greater than one, I would suggest setting it at one.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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