14 May 2004

Voting irregularities

So, we've all read news articles at sites that let you vote on how good the article was, right? Well the one I read today had the following statistics:

  • You can rate the article on a scale of 1 to 5,
  • Seven people have voted so far,
  • The average of the votes was 2.85

OK? Now, how can we calculate the possible combinations of votes that would satisfy these values? I quickly realized that this was some math that was beyond a Fine Arts degree programmer such as myself (and also beyond a couple of CS degree programmers in the office).

We came up with a few clumsy stabs at describing it, but were woefully underequipped in solving it or even explaining what form the solution might take.

We can state the equation like this:

S(i = 1..7) V[i] = 2.85 | V = {1..5} (the sum of the 7 votes = 2.85, where the votes are between 1 and 5)

[add more later]

[ posted by sstrader on 14 May 2004 at 7:17:03 PM in Programming ]