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Thread: computerized analysis of team tactic

  1. #1
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    Cool computerized analysis of team tactic

    I don't know if this is deep blue material - there no physics or hardware in the usual sense - only computers, and tactics - but its still pretty technical, so you decide.

    A large entity that shall remain nameless is funding us to do research to the tune $150K a year or so. What we want to do is build a computerized system to analyze small team combat tactics. We plan to demonstrate the system using paintball.

    The heart of this thing is a computer vision system using multiple cameras to build a very detailed real-time map of an area and its occupancy. IOW, where stuff is. We will have to augment it to identify players (but that won't be hard). We also want to measure things like heart rate and respiration and so on.

    Using this, we will be able to record games, not just optically, but being able to see around objects, and see where things were and how they were moving at any give time. We will try to develop the ability to measure 3D data selectively on the players (too much data to do the whole court).

    Now, here is what I'm NOT sure how to do - and what the great minds of deep blue might be able to help us with: Once we have this information, how can we use it to develop training for the players and actually improve their game? This is, ultimately, the goal - and while we know how to gather the data for evalutation, the experience to use that may be harder to find.

    Any ideas? Don't be shy, we're open to anything!

    FatMan

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  2. #2
    you got a damn-sweet job. it took me a few minutes to think, and this got the rusty cogs of my head moving.

    since its measuring and keeping track of most of the aspects of players and such, look at what happens when someone makes a mistake. if someone makes a bad move, look at their heart rate. after enough data is collected, you can see the optimal heart rate for being able to fuel the physical stress or paintball, and "panicking" for lack of a better word.

    you can also look as one team the enemy, and another the good guys. and the enemy will have set parameters in terms of movement, strategy, and basically behavior. then try different ways of the good guys to eliminate the enemy. after trying different "good guy" strategies, you will find the most effecient, casualty-free strategy to win in that situation.

    so what i think you should do is run different strategies and behaviors, and see what happens. if one person if left in front, measure the heart rate and body temperature. obviously it will go up, but see what kind of effects it had on their performance. and while doing that, orchestrate different situations and find out what people "should do" in those situtaions

    if i have the wrong idea, you gotta excuse me, im a moron. but im a moron that wants to help.
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  3. #3
    Interesting idea. Very interesting. Likely not a paintball vendor, or marker vendor funding the effort...

    OK... So you have all sorts of telemetry running plus cameras of the field, etc... etc...

    The question to be answered, "How does one do CQB optimally?" Difficult question because there are multiple good solutions. This is, after all is said and done, going to be a hill climbing problem. You will need to be able to define "acceptable losses", preferrably as a percentage.

    The problem is going to take a bunch of computing power, so start looking into Beowolf clusters. Try to parallelize as much as you are able.

    Try to break the problem down into multiple zones of cooperation. What I mean is, you will have to figure out what is optimal with one, two, three, ..., and N players, in your game. You can't simply break it down by team. Everything matters... unfortunately.

    Try to think of each player as a vessel, with it's own space and it's own overlap with another (some other) vessel's space. That's going to be the only approach which will work in the end.

    I say that becauce I've helped solve similar problems in a different problem space.

    You will need to discover the underlying principals which enhance individual survivability and the rules which govern when those principals do not apply... altruism IS what wins CQB. How will you train that?

    One must take chances on behalf of his fellows, can that be trained into the individual? Probably, but is is morally bankrupt to train soldiers to sacrifice themselves on behalf of their friends? The answer to that question is a resounding NO, it is not, because when you see a young man who has NOT been trained to sacrifice himself AT THE RIGHT TIME, jump upon a grenade that he did not have to jump upon... well you begin to understand training helps, even when that training teaches a soldier when to sacrifice himself.

    The things you are considering are beyond gravely serious. I do hope you realize that. If you don't, you will not satisfy the contract.

    -m-
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  4. #4
    You asked for opinions/ideas.

    But I dont see how it will help apply to other players. I think it would be kind of cool to know, but seriously how is knowing heartrate and all that stuff going to affect to people snappin it out??
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  5. #5
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    what about...

    I assume you have thought of the following.

    You will need to have baseline data for all the instrumented players. Otherwise your data might be hard to interpet since everyone is going to have different fitness levels. This way you could measure the percentage increase over normal operating conditions for certain events on the field.

    You should include audio on the players as well. That way what they said to their teammates and heard from their teammates could be factored into the game time line. For instance... 7 man team loses two players on the right line, everyone but the left front guy hears the headcount call... data shows four guys with bumped heart rate while the guy who didn't hear remains normal.

    Instrument the guns so you know when and how fast they are shooting, when they are reloaded, or even cleaned/breakdown and better yet... where they are pointed... you could probably accomplish this with each gun using a IR laser with it's own individual pulsing sequence. Any ccd video camera should be able to record the IR illumination.

    You could even use the laser system on a guys mask to see which way he is looking.

    You might also want to instrument the players with a GPS that uses a local transmitter (or whatever) to track the players position.

    What to do with the info? You would be developing a very detailed step by step time line of the game that could be used by people to evaluate their teams performance, that of their opponents and how one set of tactics work against another.

    Not sure what would be done with the players bio-signs though. Everyone is different... perhaps, over time, you could use it to track players personal development. Cross reference their psych profile with their improvement from their first tourny experience to one a couple years later.
    With experince I'm sure you will see reductions in heart rates and respirations as the person gains experience.

    you can paypal me my portion of the 150K for my input.

    yuk yuk yuk...

  6. #6
    Smoking Nun Guest

    conclusions

    Conclusions will be much easier with more data...

    In other words, collect as many different kinds of quantitative data as possible when doing this. Things like times, angles, shots fired, light, weather, etc. Collect as much numerical data as possible. Collect as many samples of this data as possible.

    Then, don't just make observations and conclusions from the descriptive data (means, standard deviations, etc.) Make your conclusions about data through statistical testing. Only make conclusions when you find significant results. You can do statistical testing to test differences in means, to test for relationship, to test for predictability. It can all get very complex very quickly. But, to really get the useable results you can present with complete confidence - get someone good at statistical analysis to test your data once you have it. They will show you some amazing stuff you would never even think about and will prove wrong some of the most basic and seemingly obvious conclusions you might make.

    See my post in this thread for more information. However, if you've already thought about statistically testing your data, then you are a step ahead of me. In which case, you will know that conclusions become much easier to make once you have statistically significant results. It leaves much less up for guessing and theorizing.

    Feel free to contact me for more information.

    Nun

  7. #7
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    Exclamation Thanks!

    Wow, great feedback! Thanks you guys!

    Here are some thoughts:

    instrumenting the guns - we thought about that. The first thing is, that's been done before, so we get no research benefit from doing it BUT - it may indeed get us more important data. The real problem is instrumenting the guns has other issues - most teams won't want to have their expensive electros wired up like that. We might think about building a set of instrumented guns just for the project though. We can GPS the players easy enough(though the vid system is much more precise), and there is a device that will tell us the direction (in 3D) its pointing. I'm thinking an audio device can detect the firing rate ... maybe.

    The heart rate stuff is to measure stress - that's pretty easy to do, and yeah it has to be calibrated to each player.

    As for statistics - we're academics in engineering ... we do loads of statistics. We will certainly be paying attention to that.

    So, some of the things *I* have been thinking of include things like evaluating the safety of a player's position by finding the angle needed to hit him in the bunker and comparing it to angles on opponents - and then looking at how well a team mate protects a front position by keeping opponents out of good shooting angles. And stuff like timing how players move within their bunker, and possibly leave open an opportunity to make a run and bunker move.

    Ever see a guy jump up and run down the field and take out 3 or 4 players? I'm not talking recball, but in the pros and upper Ams. How do they do that? Can we see how timing and coordination add up to make that happen? Can we teach someone to read the signs to do it? Or is it just luck?

    To be honest, I don't know if this will work ... and there may be other things we could measure that is more important.

    Thanks again for the input, and keep the comments coming. I'm thinking more and more about how to instrument the guns - now I just need some guinea pigs to work on!

    FatMan

  8. #8
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    Re: Thanks!

    Don't over do the data collection.

    Probably don't need more than position of each player, the direction they-re looking, and the direction their marker is pointing (and that only when fired).

    Have define what you absolutely want to analyse and the minimum requirements first....

  9. #9
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    Well first of all (trying not to sound redundant) we have already done real time EKG data acq. on police officers in paintball shooting scenarios. It's not too interesting since the heart rate goes up with mental stress not physical. They rev up when the realize it's conflict time.

    I would like to see the following analysis on your data. In my mind you are trying to answer questions about team tactics, what works and what doesn't for proper training.

    I would first group the scenarios into winners and loosers. Next I would run a spacial distance analysis to determine if physical distance between the team members showed any postive correlation. This would tell you if you should stay close or distant from your people and would require different communication and training styles.

    Next I would look at movement patterns the same way. Does lots of short moves win or does a few long ones?

    Then I would examine movement on the left and right. Is pushing a side more effective?

    Lastly I would look at shooting patterns, fewer short bursts or lots of cover fire?

    Answering these questions would give you clear directions on how to train a group of warriors, paintball or otherwise. It would indicate what types of equipment to implement. For instance if close group movement is important you would train hand signals. If you should spread out, radio communication would be the most important.

    Very cool stuff, keep me posted Fatman.

    AGD

  10. #10
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    Perhaps you could keep track of everyone's field of vision and blind spots. How about taking the FOV of the team as a whole? Maybe looking for tunnel vision... how long people will focus on one area.

    How often should I check both sides of my bunker? Statistically, what are my chances of bunkering someone who has not poked his head out in x seconds from a y distance?

    After an opponent makes a move, how long does it take for the team to communicate this... and react?

    How about keeping track of spacial advantage? Does being able to cover more of the field statistically give an advantage? What bunkers should we control to have a statistical advantage? Which bunkers should we avoid? Which opponent bunkers should we most worry about? I'd like to see a calculation of bunker value.

    What are the odds of being hit at x range?

    What moves can I statistically get away with?

  11. #11
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    Cool

    AGD, Miscue,

    Those are both really good suggestions, and those are the kind of thing I was trying to find. Right now I'm not sure of the value of the heartrate stuff either. One approach we are considering is using this system real-time during training, by having a trainer who can watch the system, and communicate with the "practice dummies" directing when and how they move. In this case a trainer might want to decide which side to push or when to push by looking at the stress of the players being trained.

    Anyway, its an idea. I think the stuff you guys were talking about is the most likely to be beneficial. I am hoping we can capture at least a rough idea of where players are looking, and where guns are shooting so we can do the kind of analysis Miscue suggests. Certainly positional information will be the first data available.

    FatMan

  12. #12
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    Maybe it would be good to keep track of each player's 'knowledge' of the field. Where are opponents I've seen? Where are opponents that I cannot see but I know are there... either through team communication or deduction. Where do I think they are? How valuable is a sneaky player that goes undetected? What disadvantage is there to being detected? Or does it matter?

    What sort of an advantage does a team with more accurate knowledge have over one w/o it? Maybe with info like this, a team will decide to work on communication moreso than snapshooting during practice... as it's shown to be more valuable than what was thought. Then again, maybe not.

    I'm thinking, that if you do a really good job with the analysis... you can construct rules for a computer simulation. Go to a new field... put stuff in the computer... it tells you what bunkers to play and such. Maybe figure out probabilities of what bunkers the opponents will take... something like this. The idea being that, you have some idea of what the game is going to look like before even playing it.

  13. #13

    Red face Computerized analysis system is required

    Dear FatMan,

    I am going to be the paintball match analysor in Iran and am looking for an appropriate software for that,i would be thankful if you help me and show me the clues.




    saeed

  14. #14
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    this already exists, it was done in the early 90's. I am sure it will be better this time around, edit:I'll see if I can get you a reference.

  15. #15
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    Eh... old thread resurrection!

    Forgot about this completely... but had some more thoughts.

    I don't think that such a study would be fruitful. The variables are insane... I don't know how you could possibly create any kind of meaningful prediction on this stuff.

    It would be easier to do a statistical analysis on a football game, trying to come up with a winning strategy. The field is always the same size and is 2-dimensional. The number of participants is always the same. There are no equipment differences to account for.

    There are not any rules or standards in combat/warfare.

    You'd have to focus on something very specific... limit the scope of what you're trying to develop a simulation for. But then what use would that be?

    Time would be better spent researching more effective ways to kill people with technology. What do you need strategy for if you can easily over-power?

  16. #16

    Thank you all

    Quote Originally Posted by latches109
    this already exists, it was done in the early 90's. I am sure it will be better this time around, edit:I'll see if I can get you a reference.

    Dear Latches109,

    Will you help me to achieve the software or any other material in this case?
    thank you very much

  17. #17

    Contradiction

    Dear Miscue,

    i am sure the analysis of any movement and tactic will help players and coaches to imrove their next performance,so if we can monitor the matches both statistically and observatory we will reach to the better results which are fruitfull.the football matches have got their specific rules and strategies completly different from paintball tactics:i.e. in football the main aim is reachin to the goal by scoring,attackers have their specific duties,so are deffenders and midfilders,but in paintball all memebrs of the scuad must deffend,attack and support each other and absence of any of the memebers bring a harder burgain on the team.

    Please comment.
    thank you very much

  18. #18
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    wow this is old, i am bad at looking at those dates.

    Rahimi saeed, that data is held by the US military. There is a private corporation which specializes in such software. Here
    hope this helps,
    Lattches109



    Quote Originally Posted by rahimi_saeed
    Dear Latches109,

    Will you help me to achieve the software or any other material in this case?
    thank you very much

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rahimi_saeed
    Dear Miscue,

    i am sure the analysis of any movement and tactic will help players and coaches to imrove their next performance,so if we can monitor the matches both statistically and observatory we will reach to the better results which are fruitfull.the football matches have got their specific rules and strategies completly different from paintball tactics:i.e. in football the main aim is reachin to the goal by scoring,attackers have their specific duties,so are deffenders and midfilders,but in paintball all memebrs of the scuad must deffend,attack and support each other and absence of any of the memebers bring a harder burgain on the team.

    Please comment.
    thank you very much
    How would it help? What sort of non-trivial information could be gathered from such a study that could be used to improve decision making on and off the field?

    Are you sure that an analysis would be helpful because of faith, or because of some reason that would hold up well against thoughtful scrutiny?

    You misunderstand why I brought up football. I could have brought up several other things that would have made the same point. It is very difficult to use statistical data to successfully predict things, especially with complex systems.
    Last edited by Miscue; 09-02-2005 at 12:25 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rahimi_saeed
    Dear Miscue,

    i am sure the analysis of any movement and tactic will help players and coaches to imrove their next performance,so if we can monitor the matches both statistically and observatory we will reach to the better results which are fruitfull.the football matches have got their specific rules and strategies completly different from paintball tactics:i.e. in football the main aim is reachin to the goal by scoring,attackers have their specific duties,so are deffenders and midfilders,but in paintball all memebrs of the scuad must deffend,attack and support each other and absence of any of the memebers bring a harder burgain on the team.

    Please comment.
    thank you very much
    How would it help? What sort of non-trivial information could be gathered from such a study that could be used to improve decision making on and off the field? Also... remember that the ultimate goal was to apply this to real combat.

    Are you sure that an analysis would be helpful because of faith, or because of some reason that would hold up well against thoughtful scrutiny?

    You misunderstand why I brought up football. I could have brought up several other things that would have made the same point. The difficulty of making successful predictions increases drastically as the complexity of a system increases.

    Let's say it is possible... could you envision paintball players thinking to themselves: I'm going to move/shoot there... do this or that... because the data collection stuffed in my head suggests it? Extracted ideas on more effective ways to play would have to be fairly simple to be useful. And if it is simple - a complex analysis is unnecessary.

    It's just not realistic.

  21. #21
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    Talking my thought

    i do think the data would be helpful, despite numerous variables, including number of players, and equiptment, there r set circunmstances, such as, there is a goal, and moves need to be made to achieve this goal, i believe if a team is analyzed or analyzes other teams a highly dependable strategy can be made, such as, if i move here, ...the data shows that in this predicament, the opposing team does this..therefore u can be prepared to defen against the move, or make your own move to cripple your oppenenst advance before he or she even makes there move, because u kno what they have done in the past and therefore u can better evaluate the given situation

  22. #22
    A Sadly nessisray thing to add to that system if it is to be applied to Tournament setting would be the Ratio of Player calling them selves out to playing in/ Wiping, Whats the average of times you have to shoot someone before they actual leave hte field. See Ref It's not over shooting, It's Statistics.
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  23. #23
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    have you thought about implimenting an algorithm for locating players?

  24. #24
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    This actually seems pretty worthwhile to me. Last spring (in PGI I think) I read a pretty good article concerning the odds of getting eliminated in various ways. I might be messing up the numbers a bit, but I seem to remember it being something like 10% of eliminations happen through gunfights, another 10% happen by way of bunkering and run-throughs, and 80% happen through laning opponents or getting a good angle into their bunker and shooting them out - basically any tactic that negates opponents' cover at a distance while keeping you safe is ideal, as it statistically scores the most eliminations and leaves you less vulnerable than most other strategies.

    It'd be interesting to just look at a map of a field and see where players where and which direction they were moving/shooting when elimations occurred. To take it to the next level you could see what moves players made that forced that situation or made them decide to take whatever action lead directly to eliminations.

    And yeah, it's not like players or infantymen are going to be crunching numbers in the field to figure out where their best odds lie - but you can get a real sense for it. How often do you see a new player break out of a bunker to go for a run through or bunker someone and get lit up the instant they move from behind their cover? How often do you see that happen to a pro? Obviously it's not some magic or voodoo that the pros have that makes them not get shot as often in those situations. There's a real art to timing your moves and picking the right path and actions to take so you do the best you can for your team.

    On the flipside, I'm not sure how well paintball works as a model for small squad tactics. The setups might be similar, but the analogy starts to break down when you get players sacrifice themselves. Sure, some brave army man might leap on a grenade to save his squad, but you'll probably never see someone run up and shoot an ememy knowing full well it's a self-sacrifice, going one-for-one with the enemy because you happen to be up 5 on 3 at that moment. Likewise, an infantyman is going to be under a hell of a lot more stress if 5 men out of his 7 man squad gets dropped than a paintballer in the same situation, and therefore do drastically different things. However, that's pretty much the hurdle in all training exercises and tactics studies.

    I don't think tourny paintball is an accurate model for small squad tactics because of the aforementioned reasons. You could do police/army training exercises with paintball equipment where the focus _is_ on survivability, not team victory at any and all costs.

    Ah well, just my musings on what seems to be an interesting topic. This is pretty old, though - is the project over? Got any results we can see or is it all classified or something? Hope it went well.

    Peace.

  25. #25
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    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here but this topic attracts me so much I can't resist chiming in despite the age of the thread. I think that the best case scenario for this type of study would be a 'martial art' for small arms. By that I mean a logically structured, progressively complex course of study that would result in minimizing a person's chances of getting it shot off. I've already gone through this discussion with my Brother-in Law who is serving at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command after he returned from Iraq. When the Musket took over the battlefield from the the longbow, the musket had shorter range, worse accuracy and a slower rate of fire. The longbow lost out because it takes a lifetime to make a bowman but it takes two days to make a musketeer. Now those of us lucky enough to have decades of experience have internalized the tactics that keep us from getting eliminated, but in the case of a paintball school for total newcomers or an army with a raw recruit, trainers are faced with a blank slate that can be very intimidating. The quicker a person can learn ABC the faster they'll get to XYZ.

    Many new paintball players are like a hiding cat with it's tail hanging out from under the curtains, they have no idea what they are doing wrong

    Paintball or direct armed conflict boils down to:

    Hiding behind something while shooting at someone hiding behind something

    moving while shooting at someone hiding behind something

    Hiding behind something while shooting at someone moving

    Moving while shooting at someone moving


    It doesn't matter if you're hiding behind an inflatable bunker or a tree, or driving an M1 tank, the same types of misjudgments will get get you hit.

    A short simple course to teach hiding, moving and shooting while doing both would benefit paintball and whoever put out the DVD. Like a martial art, advanced techniques can only be discovered when the basics are mastered

    I noticed in some of my Bro-in-Law's pics, his troops were holding their M4's like paintball markers. Gun up high, telescopic stock on top the shoulder, elbows in tight, nothing coming around the corner except muzzle and eyeball. While no, paintball isn't exactly like real combat(thank heavens), it certainly is a worthwhile 'testbed' for many things and has already passed a few techniques to real combat that have saved lives.


    Rob

  26. #26
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    Miscue
    "It is very difficult to use statistical data to successfully predict things, especially with complex systems."

    I completely disagree with this statement. The sample means will always "bounce" around the population mean. i.e. How many times do you need to flip a coin to know if it is fair? A: 6.7. So you will arrive at the same conclusion after 1000 flips. This is the beauty of statistics. Our economy’s success depends on statistics. And these linear models are highly complex, far more than any paintball scenario could be. In paintballs case adding more variables to your model will not matter. If the variable is uncorrelated is does not effect the model. My claims are backed by recognized mathematics.

    Say we measured 4 random variables: heart rate, 50 lye down bunker position, and win, loss. Where we found no correlation of heart rate and win, no correlation of heart rate and loss, a highly positive correlation to the 50 bunker and win, a highly negative correlation to 50 bunker and loss. This data tells us occupying the 50 lye down will increase your chances of winning.

    When there is a hostage situation the tactical team has on average 30 seconds to neutralize the situation before the hostage dies. How do you come up with the fastest way when there are thousand of possibilities?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by latches109
    Miscue
    "It is very difficult to use statistical data to successfully predict things, especially with complex systems."

    I completely disagree with this statement. The sample means will always "bounce" around the population mean. i.e. How many times do you need to flip a coin to know if it is fair? A: 6.7. So you will arrive at the same conclusion after 1000 flips. This is the beauty of statistics. Our economy’s success depends on statistics. And these linear models are highly complex, far more than any paintball scenario could be. In paintballs case adding more variables to your model will not matter. If the variable is uncorrelated is does not effect the model. My claims are backed by recognized mathematics.

    Say we measured 4 random variables: heart rate, 50 lye down bunker position, and win, loss. Where we found no correlation of heart rate and win, no correlation of heart rate and loss, a highly positive correlation to the 50 bunker and win, a highly negative correlation to 50 bunker and loss. This data tells us occupying the 50 lye down will increase your chances of winning.

    When there is a hostage situation the tactical team has on average 30 seconds to neutralize the situation before the hostage dies. How do you come up with the fastest way when there are thousand of possibilities?
    I don't like my wording in that quote. Let's replace it with simply: "It is very difficult to make successful predictions using stats from a complex system."

    As far as what you said and what I think about it... "Monkey potato 1776 touchdown." It makes as much sense, using less words.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscue
    I don't like my wording in that quote. Let's replace it with simply: "It is very difficult to make successful predictions using stats from a complex system."
    "...successful predictions..."

    If these models were not successful then there would be no use for statistics. My point was these models are very effective. That is why they are used. Sometimes statistics is not cost effective, because data collection can be expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Miscue
    As far as what you said and what I think about it... "Monkey potato 1776 touchdown." It makes as much sense, using less words.
    My example was making a point, rather than being accuate.
    If you couldn’t create and manipulate, or even read such models, how can someone say how accurate the linear model will be? Or their usefulness?

    last weekend at scvillage:
    “Dude, my angel is so much better than your emag. emags are so slow,” a kid says to me.
    I reply, “Have you ever shot one?”
    “No.”
    “Have you ever seen one being shot?”
    “No.”
    “Well….I guess I need to get an angel”
    “Yeah you should!”

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    7,104
    Quote Originally Posted by latches109
    "...successful predictions..."

    If these models were not successful then there would be no use for statistics. My point was these models are very effective. That is why they are used. Sometimes statistics is not cost effective, because data collection can be expensive.


    My example was making a point, rather than being accuate.
    If you couldn’t create and manipulate, or even read such models, how can someone say how accurate the linear model will be? Or their usefulness?

    last weekend at scvillage:
    “Dude, my angel is so much better than your emag. emags are so slow,” a kid says to me.
    I reply, “Have you ever shot one?”
    “No.”
    “Have you ever seen one being shot?”
    “No.”
    “Well….I guess I need to get an angel”
    “Yeah you should!”

  30. #30
    Well, I play Halo 2 quite frequently and I couldn't help but noticed that they have something similar. They track all stats in any game including where and when you were killed. I have no idea how they do it but perhaps you could contact them or maybe use Halo 2 instead of paintball, though the fitness data might not be so good...
    Follow the link and click "Game Viewer" for the map and the statistics should be self explanatory.
    Halo 2 Goodness

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