Author Topic: 2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset  (Read 9494 times)

Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« on: February 03, 2009, 12:20:28 pm »
As promised, this thread will allow you the pilots to discuss the upcoming reset.

For those that are interested, the problem is best described thus:

When you finish a PP flight, all the FAC scores from all your PP flights, along with the new FAC score, are averaged, and that becomes your new, central FAC. If the central FAC gets reset to 0, it makes very little difference because next time you fly, a new average is calculated from all your PIREPs.

To fix it, I've figured out a way to calculate a rolling average based on the central FAC average, rather than relying on the individual flight scores. That way, you reset the central FAC and it will indeed start again from 0.

As mentioned, I'll be implementing the fixes and testing away from the live site, so if anyone wishes to comment/complain you can do so here. Are we all happy with using 1 Jan 2009 as the start fresh date, or would you prefer working from "today" (whenever that happens to be; I've got to write all the new FAC calulation code first)?
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Offline EHM-1570 Bruce

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 01:14:31 pm »
I think that resetting the FAC to 0 is very unfair on pilots who have been with EuroHarmony for a long period of time, and gained a lot of experience and improved their flying skills to see their FAC wiped out, once this happens there is no difference between a new pilot and a pilot with lots of flying hours with the VA.
Bruce Woodbridge
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Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 02:06:45 pm »
Hi Bruce,

That's why I'm suggesting going to 1 Jan 2009; there's a month (and a little bit more now) of ordinary PP PIREPs, the Barrack Obama event, and the ongoing Crossiere Noire event flights to go straight into the new FAC - you'd see immediately that it's anything but a clean slate.

I understand your frustration, you are (I would suggest without doubt) our most prolific PP pilot, and your current FAC reflects the vast amount of time you put into your PP flying; but I also understand that there are a lot of our pilots out there with hugely negative PP scores, and that under the old regime don't have a snowballs hope of recovering to 0.0 (let alone the multiple thousand positive score you have) and they find that to be tremendously dispiriting (we've had pilots leave because of it...).

Going back to a fixed point in time and recalculating from there will (a) make the FAC fairer for everyone, and (b) make it far easier to look after. We (mostly Bruno at this point) are rightly proud of PP, it is very much unique in the VA world, but I am fully aware that the current FAC mechanism is all stick and no carrot (and with FLv3 it cannot be changed very much more); I see this move as but the first step in fixing it to be the envy of the VA community.
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Offline EHM-2387 Eric-Jan

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 02:26:37 pm »
I don't mind being reset to 0, with my FAC of -6700 or so, "earned" in a very short time (I am only member since last december). I'm still learning to fly, so I still make a lot of mistakes. But I am definitely progressing, so that's a good thing about the ProPilot system.

But I do understand that Bruce doesn't like to see his records wiped. On the other hand, Bruce, if you keep making the hours as you do now, you will always be "in the lead", if that's your thing.

What I do think ik that with the current calculation method, penalties count too severe. It is hardly impossible to regain point after you end up in a situation like mine. I just did a perfect flight, that got me from -6720 to -6680. 40 points in the plus direction. Whereas the other day I had a flight with some bad weather upon arrival, which cost me 900 points due to two penalties for excessive G-forces. I would need about 20 perfect flights to erase that one error...

But as you said, Murray, you are working on a new agorithm, so I'm sure you'll iron out this effect at least somewhat.

If you still have all historical data, I would probably vote for a reference date as far back in the past as possible, to accomodate the Bruces of this world (Sorry Bruce, you are becomming a landmark, like it or not). If that be 01-01-2009, then that be it. If the first consecutive PP PIREP be 26-10-2007, then that date would have my preference. I think it's the fairest to all.

Again, I don't mind if you took "today" as a start date, but I can see that others would feel cheated out of their hard-earned points.
Keep up the good work!
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Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 03:14:49 pm »
Just to give everyone a little more info to work with, using our three correspondents so far:

Me, 42 PP flights total, 8 since 2009-01-01
Bruce, 1,189 PP flights total, 23 since 2009-01-01
E-J, 20 PP flights total, 9 since 2009-01-01

(260 PP flights since 2009-01-01 for all pilots, Bruce remains most prolific pilot)

And I can say without any shadow of a doubt, I've got the most penalties so far of the three of us in 2009 :) (I'm not going into specifics)

And regarding carrot, I don't know if it would be feasible, but how would we all feel about a 100 FAC point "bonus" if you complete back-to-back clean flights? Get two 0.0 flights one after another and you're given 100 points. Would that be enough incentive for those of us less good than Bruce? (;D)

EDIT: Ooh, now here's a thought... We could easily have 2 FACs. One that goes back to PP starting (i.e., the current one), plus a second, just this calendar year, FAC. The historic one would feature on your pilot information etc etc, but we'd use the this year one on the front page of the website - 2 "competitions" for the price of 1! In actual fact, it wouldn't be too much further work to allow the FAC to be calculated for any time period; the front page currently lists the top ten in the last 30 days, but that's using the historic FAC score. There's no reason why it couldn't be calculated for the last 30 days specifically...
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Offline EHM-1749 Hector

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 04:53:56 pm »
Last June I wrote:
"The FAC should have a way to reward the online flying as well as the PP events participation. The actual algorithm recognises only the number of online flights but does not take into account its duration as the total PP flights does.
Regarding the events, it should be recognised the high level of commitment that the pilot acquires due to the time constrains involved."

Two weeks ago I wrote:
"Due to the length of this issue I would like to wrap up my suggestions:
1.- Put more weigth on both the on-line flights and PP events in the FAC algorithm. No doubt that both activities need much more attention to the pilot.
2.- Make compulsory for the pilot to fly the return trip allowing for a reasonable time for doing it. This will avoid the high number of planes left on the airports all over the world, If the plane is not flown back and not an explanation is sent to the hub's manager, a penalty should be applied.
3.- Fuel management should also be part of the FAC
4.- Allow ProPilot for stop overs in long range fligths no longer than 24 hrs."

Today I write:
Eventhough the actual FAC algorithm takes into account 90% of online flights, it disregards the lenght of it and as a result,  there is no difference between a flight between London and Manchester and another between London and Sydney. That's not fair.
On the other hand, I don't understand why the algorithm takes only 50% of the PP flights and
90% of the online flights while applies 100% of the total penalties and 70% of crashes. I do believe that penalties should be applied in full, as the table shows although some of them should be reviewed.

Here is what I propose for the actual FAC:
(Total PP flts)+(Total PP minutes*0.3)-(Total Penalties)-(Total Extra Penalties)+(Total PP O/L Flts *1.5)+(Total PP O/L minutes *0.3)
This should reward the online fligths taking also the lenght of it into account. Still it doesn't take the events into account.

Anyhow, I would like to propose to think about the FAC not in points but in money on the following grounds:
1.- Each plane could have an hourly rate to be earned by the pilot according to its class.
2.- For online fligths there is a 25% bonus
3.- For events there is a 25% bonus
4.- Convert penalty points to a money value. A direct conversion could be considered.
5.- Crashes are no revenue situations. Zero. Nothing. Nada. Nil. But EHM must indemnify the families of the victims and must write the plane off so to help the VA and to pay for the cost involved in bringring him/she back to life, the pilot will contribute with 50% of his/her MMR.
6.- The algorithm could be:
MMR = MMRp + (ACFT Hourly Rate * Fligth Time (hrs)) - Penalty Total

MMRp = Money Making Rank, previous
MMR= Money Maker Rank, actual
ACFT Hourly Rate to be multiplied by 1.25 for online fligthts
For crashes, the Penalty Total will equal the ACFT Hourly Rate*Fligth Time result.

Hope this will be considered

Good pilots keep their number of landings equal to their number of takeoffs. Takeoffs are optional but landings are Mandatory.

Offline EHM-1570 Bruce

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 05:08:12 pm »
I do not look on the FAC as a competition, which it seems to be looked upon by many pilots, I look upon it as an indication of your flying skills. When I started flying using ProPilot I also crashed quite a few aircraft, but you persevere, the danger that I see is that in the future when new pilots arrive we will have a similar scenario, where they could accumulate a large negative FAC and want it reset to zero.
Bruce Woodbridge
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Offline EHM-1001 Robert

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 08:00:50 pm »
Hi mates !

Basically I like the FAC-reset idea because we had too much giant negative scores already.

For example in my case I started from ~ -6000 after resetting, which should be a bug in the calculation. I think I have -6000 points because I crashed 6 airplanes so far which means -1000 per loss. I do not mind really because I do not fight for PP pole position... but maybe this small bug causes complains ? ;)

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Offline EHM-1749 Hector

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 10:28:40 pm »
I have not said it yet but I am against FAC resetting. Instead, as mentioned in previous posts I am for a re-arrangement of the algorithm to give more weight to online and events flights in both number and flying time.
While I agree with Bruce's appreciation I do consider the FAC as a way to stimulate competition among us. Competition make us perform better as long as we keep it fair.
All of us have seen how Bruce is far ahead of us but he has worked his tail, no pun intended, very hard. Nobody gave it to him for free.
What we need to do? Work as hard as he has worked.
What kind of challenges are we offering the pilots to be better if we just wipe their mistakes out? As Bruce said, do it today, will again do it tomorrow in such a way that the FAC  will never reach the original intention of its creators.
We should improve our FAC by being better pilots. Period.

Good pilots keep their number of landings equal to their number of takeoffs. Takeoffs are optional but landings are Mandatory.

Offline EHM-2155 Mariano

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 12:18:30 am »
We just need a FAC that rewards good flights and not only punishes for a bad flight.
That said, yes the scores should be reset, but something has to be done for pilots with positive FAC at the moment. Specially Bruce, give him like a super legend badge :P

I think what the scores should be calculated as was discussed before in other threads. There were many good ideas there for our management to pick the best and bring us a new and wonderful, enjoyable, rewarding system that we can all enjoy. Cos they make wonderful things. Some day I'll discover where they keep the fairy dust :@

Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 12:15:34 pm »
So, a fairer FAC should be our goal? I've thought for a long time that the FAC should be a much lower numbered thing (points out of 10, sort of thing), so rather than the many thousands, most pilots would be in the hundreds, and there would be no negative scores at all.

Just throwing this out there for discussion, perhaps we should work on the assumption of positive re-enforcement - a good flight with no penalties is worth a FAC of X, and penalties remove points from X down to a minimum of 0 (for a full-on crash). Even if you get all other possible penalty, there needs to be a positive score for that (a crash being the only way to not get a positive X)?

BTW, I don't want to discuss individual penalties at this juncture, just the over-arching FAC calculation.
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Offline EHM-2097 Andrei

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2009, 02:20:55 pm »
Quote
Just throwing this out there for discussion, perhaps we should work on the assumption of positive re-enforcement - a good flight with no penalties is worth a FAC of X, and penalties remove points from X down to a minimum of 0 (for a full-on crash). Even if you get all other possible penalty, there needs to be a positive score for that (a crash being the only way to not get a positive X)?

In my (more or less humble) opinion, Y E S - and I don't have a large enough font to write this word. This is the kind of scoring I dream of...

Andrei
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Offline EHM-1570 Bruce

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 03:27:54 pm »
If I am reading this right, what you are saying is that  a particular penalty free flight would be worth for example an FAC of 100, this figure would then be added to your cumulative FAC total, however the same flight incurring penalties of say 50 would only add the remaining 50 to your cumulative FAC, and a crash wouuld wipe out the possible 100, and your cumulative FAC would remain unaltered. If this is correct then I would be happy to see this implemented.
After reading one suggestion that wants to introduce a financial incentive, I would totally disagree with that.
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Offline EHM-1001 Robert

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 05:00:50 pm »
I think too that the idea is good. Although I am not sure how the calculation works now. Is it a kind of average score now ? I thought the current system is cumulative too, so basically we are gaining points which is scaled somehow regarding the activity in time ?

What I see a problem is the amount of penalty points. For example with a 2-3 hours of flying and hard concentration you can earn some 100 points, but if you forget to turn ON the beacon in time, you can loose 180. I think if the points would balanced better, the current system could be good too.

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Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 06:52:55 pm »
@ everyone that replied to my suggestion thus far, EXCELLENT! And thank you.

Bruce, precisely. A good flight will be worth a fixed value, published and not at all secret, and penalties will take away from that fixed value. As long as you don't crash, you'll get some sort of "score" for the flight (even if you get everything else wrong) Potentially, this could be either a cumulative score, or alternatively it could be an averaged score (and if we work with 100 as you suggest, it's simple to describe it as a percentage...); either is "good for me" :)

Robert, the current FAC calculation is very much a similar idea, only the other way around. You start at 0 (pretty much) then penalties cumulatively come off that (and yes, it's easily possible to get a vastly negative score for a flight, and that without crashing even). If and only if you get no penalties is there then a small "bonus" of points. Yes, time and online flying provide a weighting to that outcome value, but the "balance of power" in the current system lies with penalties. There's no reason why time and online flying shouldn't have a positive effect in the new formula I've very loosely outlined, but again, that's something to be not talked about right now.
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Offline EHM-2387 Eric-Jan

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2009, 09:28:34 am »
Sounds good to me! A positive attitude :)

Now, I am not a long-hauler. And still I get every chance to mess up my start-up, take-off, climb, cruise (not much to go wrong there, I guess), descend, landing, and shut-down. So I would plee for not over doing the rewards for flight time. I agree that there should be a sort of stimulus to expose the networks to EHM callsigns for as much and long as possible, but the chance of doing something "wrong" does not increase linearly with flight time. Maybe you could cut it up into chunks of block-time with different rewards?
And: I think crashing might set you back, even in the negative, for about one flights worth of points. So if we stick to the max. 100 points reward example, then I would suggest that crashing an airplane would deduct 100 points from your thus far accumulated FAC. That leaves the possibility open to not earn any points if you do everything else wrong (besides crashing). And it puts the hand-brake on the FACs shooting off through the roof.
The main drawback of a "positive only" FAC, I think, is that your FAC will sky-rocket if you have a lot of flying time available, and you will never get to the front page of the website if you are limited to saturday afternoons only. That's why the averaging was introduced, I guess. I'm not sure where I would wanna go with that yet. I'll let it simmer for a bit and get back to you.

Cheers!
Eric-Jan
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Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2009, 11:08:34 am »
That's why I'm strangely drawn to expressing the FAC score as a percentage E-J (i.e. using 100 as the best score, then averaging the various flights scores). It's simple for everyone to understand a percentage and it's dead easy to calculate a percentage (and once we have the new flight logger, it'll be even easier).

(Sorry Bruce, it will mean no big cumulative value, but 100% speaks for itself :))
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Offline EHM-2387 Eric-Jan

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2009, 01:54:44 pm »
OK, I get your point now;)

But working up to a certain averaged percentage, you will at some point have, say, a score of 87% over the last 2500 flights (you might notice that I am exaggerating a bit). If you then get 0% for crashing a plane, or 100% for another perfect flight, your FAC won't change because of that. So the idea of a weighed average over the last 10 (25? 100?) flights sounds appealing to me. It keeps it all a bit more dynamic in the long run.

Also, the suggestion to keep an overall "career" FAC and a time-dependant FAC (a "last month score" or something) side by side could be applied here. With the career FAC being the overall average, and the month FAC being just that.

Just some thoughts...
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Offline EHM-1001 Robert

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2009, 03:03:07 pm »
I like the percentage based system too. I think combine it with showing the flown hours, you can still see who is addicted and how much successfull with the system ;)

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Offline EHM-1570 Bruce

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2009, 08:17:54 am »
I agree with Robert, but if you introduce a percentage system then you should also in some way show the Pilots career with EuroHarmony, otherwise you cannot diferentiate between a new pilot with only a couple of succesful flights and a long serving pilot with many flying hours.
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Offline EHM-2198 Didimo

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2009, 04:17:21 pm »
I was very glad when I read about the reset of the FAC!!! cheers! having had the misfortune of a problematic a/c on  the first flight the whole thing just started wrong. This in the end made it less attractive to continue using PP because it was very difficult to get rid of the penalty. So for me the FAC reset (and I am pretty sure for many others) is a most welcomed thing, especially if the algorithm is improved. I think the most problematic issue is the altimeter reset during descent because one has to work against FS's default TA.

However... having read one of the posts above I have to agree that the FAC reset is unfair for those who have been PP'ing for a long time and in very good standing. That must also be demotivating. I guess "we" have to find a compromise there too. Perhaps keeping a "Previous FAC" in the profile, or maybe even establishing FAC periods (say of a year or two) and keep both "current FAC" and a historically averaged FAC.

Anyway, just an idea because like I say I am glad if the FAC gets reset (mine isn't yet) but that isn't good news for the long standing PP members who have ironed out the procedures.

I am sure somebody will come up with something good that will make everybody happy.

Offline EHM-0654 Murray

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 02:41:53 pm »
OK, we've not had any more replies in a while, so let me see if I can summarize:

We all think that moving to a percentage-based FAC is a fair idea, especially if the PP flight hours are displayed at the same time; Bruce will still be #1 at something close to 100% and a good few thousand flight hours... ;D

A total reset to "zero" (100% in the percentage system) isn't everyone's ideal, so ensuring at least some historical data is rolled into the new classification would be better. Including all historical data would be favourite though.

Next discussion topic will be penalties, but that will have to wait for another thread and the new Flight Logger being a little nearer to complete.
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Offline EHM-2155 Mariano

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2008-01-18: ProPilot FAC reset
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2009, 07:32:50 am »
Murray something popped in my mind as I read "A total reset to "zero" (100% in the percentage system)."
Maybe we can reset everyone to 0%. The score remains at 0% until a number of PIREPS are filed (i suggest something like 5), to avoid someone flying a 30 minute flight, getting 100%... I seen it happen.

Example... I start flying, have 0
First flight I get a 65%
Second flight I get a 90%
Third flight I get a 25%
At this point my FAC is still 0%
Fourth flt 100%
Fifth flight 40%

Then PP calculates my score (65 + 90 + 25 + 100 + 40 / 5 = 64% ) and inputs it in the system. From now on, every flight counts.
But I think everyone should start with 0. It makes no sense that someone who never flew ProPilot, or someone who flew it once, has a 100% and so has a better score than someone who flew 100 flights with an average of 94%.