Saturday, October 27, 2007

Facetiousness immitates the academy...

...sort of.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a rather lengthy post on an alternative voting system, based on Google's algorithm for ranking websites. It was more of a thought experiment than a serious proposal.

Recently, while researching something on a different, though related, topic, I found out that the main idea behind Google's algorithm is a variation on something called the Kendall-Wei method. Wanting to know more about it, I decided to google Kendall-Wei. To my surprise, the fourth page that came up is a paper titled "An Introduction to Vote-Counting Schemes" [1]. So I'm not the first person to make a connection between Google's ranking of websites and the ranking of political candidates. Although, the use of the Kendall-Wei method described in this paper is quite different from my suggestion (thus the "...sort of" at the beginning of this post). Nevertheless, the fact that someone else besides me has connected elections with the use of the Kendall-Wei method, suggests that perhaps I ought to be taking my ideas more seriously. Expect me to announce the publication of my paper on the subject soon.

[1] You probably won't be able to download the paper, unless you happen to be on a university campus with a subscription to JSTOR.

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