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Voting Procedures

Jump quickly to: How to Vote; More Voting Rules; Results Determination; Details of Vote Aggregation; Winner's Awards.

The X-Day web site provides automated forms for you to place and change votes for your favorite competing submissions.

Disclaimer: the X-Day competition results come purely out of a popular vote, where each voter has an equal potential weight towards the final results, regardless of that person's experience or skills or bias. There is no skilled panel of judges to determine the winners. While the X-Day competition is ideally a contest where works of the best quality win, the reality is that popularity of the creators can significantly skew the results. This said, the results should still be about as reasonable as a political election, which are also done by popular vote.

How to Vote

The set of forms for voting on competing submissions are accessed through the Vote page. After you are logged in, that page will show you a list of categories with competing submissions, and beside each, what your current vote(s) in that category are (or if you didn't vote there yet). Beside each category name is a link that takes you to a form for placing or changing your votes in that category.

Regardless of whether you are initially placing or subsequently changing your votes in a category, the form looks the same, aside from minor details (such as the name of the 'submit' button). The form displays a list of all the competing submissions in the category you selected; the list is divided into two groups, one having the submissions you voted for, and the other having the ones you didn't. Each submission has a small Textfield beside it where you can indicate the presence and/or degree of your vote towards that submission.

You are to place the number 1 in the box beside the submission that is your most favorite. If you have a second-favorite, then put a 2 in its box, a third-favorite gets a 3, and so on for each favorite that you have. For submissions that are not among of your favorites, you leave or make the box empty. When you are done, click the 'place votes' or 'change votes' button as the case may be.

This voting system is designed to be both simple, but also flexible, and the most fair to both voters and competitors. If there are several submissions that you like and you want to help them win, then by giving a number to each, you aren't forced to choose between them; there are no 'split votes' in X-Day 2004. If you don't like any of them or want to abstain, then you can leave the boxes beside all of them empty. If you prefer the commonly used system of 'pick just one', you can simulate it by giving a 1 to one submission and leaving the others blank. You can not give the same number to multiple submissions in a category, which helps to avoid near-tied scores in the end, but the nearest equivalent is consecutive numbers.

Note that the voting form is automatically normalized. You can enter any numbers that you want into the fields (whole or fractional), as long as they are greater than zero, and as long as submissions you like more have lower numbers than those you like less, and those you don't like at all have empty boxes. When you submit the form, your picks will be assigned sequential whole numbers from 1 on up. For your convenience, the submission list will also be re-sorted so they are listed in the order that you have ranked them, from most to least favorite.

You can set and change your votes any time during the Voting period, during which time the list of competing submissions is frozen.

Remember: Each competing submission that you give a number to will be helping its standing in the competition; the lower the number, the more you are helping the submission. Each competing submission that you do not give a number to is simply not affected by you, for good or bad. You can not do anything to worsten a submission's placement relative to not voting for it at all.

More Voting Rules

Every competitor may vote in the same categories that they are competing in; this is perfectly fair (even candidates in political elections can vote) so don't feel afraid to do it yourself.

During voting, you are allowed to change your votes after they are made, should you change your mind or want to make a correction.

Vote splitting will be avoided because you can now vote for multiple items in the same category as your favorites.

A person may not have multiple X-Day individual's accounts for any reason, not the least of which is for ballot stuffing. If you do this you will be disqualified and your votes will be ignored when determining the final results.

While text feedback for a submission is publicly credited, all votes are private; no one but you will know how you voted.

There is no running count of voting results. While the voting period is open, no one can know the aggregated voting results. Thus each person should not be influenced by how everyone else is voting. The results will be shown only when the voting period is over, and no one can change their votes.

You may not tell anyone who you voted for or what text feedback you gave until after the voting period is closed, to help avoid influencing them.

Co-ordinated group voting is expressly forbidden. This refers to a practice where multiple voters all vote the same way (meaning, same numbers to same submissions) based on instructions from an individual. While that may be legal in general politics, it is not allowed here. Think for yourself when picking submissions, rather than someone else thinking for you.

Results Determination

Speaking trivially, the competition winners in each category are determined by adding up the weighted votes for each voter in that category; the competing submission in a category with the highest sum wins, the second highest gets second place, and so on. The actual algorithm may be slightly different.

The number of 'awards' in a category varies with the number of submissions competing there. No submissions means no awards. Every category has at least a 1st and 2nd place award where there are 2 or more submissions. Beyond that, the total number of awards is given by the formula "1 + round_up(S/10)", where "S" is the number of submissions. So 2..10 gets 2, 11-20 gets 3, etc.

There are no limits to how many awards each participant can take home from X-Day, aside from those that limit how many submissions can compete in the first place; any participant can win up to 5 awards in total (except with multi-creator works), the competing limit that was indicated by the Content Rules.

Regardless of whether a submission wins an 'award', their total score will be displayed among the results, so you can see how near or far apart they were in the rankings, just as with olympic skating. Likewise, text feedback will be displayed for each submission regardless of whether it competes.

All participants are allowed to cite the feedback or awards or vote sums that their submissions received on their own promotional literature, regardless of whether they win an actual X-Day award or not. However, all such citations must be accompanied by a hyperlink to the X-Day website, so people reading them can see the proof and details to your claims. You should always link to http://www.xday.info/ , and if the award is from a previous year, the visitors can navigate to it from there.

Details of Vote Aggregation

Here is described the algorithm for combining the votes of each participant into the final scores that determine winners in each category. The algorithm is relatively simple and predictable. It should fairly represent what each voter desires to contribute to the winners list, and submissions should be fairly treated regardless of how many or few people voted for them. The algorithm should not only avoid the problems of vote splitting in 'pick one, then add all' systems, but also the problems of near-identical results in 'rank everything 1..10, then average all' systems.

To demonstrate the algorithm with examples, here are some pretend votes by 5 voters (Z, Y, X, W, V), that each vote differently, in a category with 5 competing submissions (A, B, C, D, E):

Voter Z has decided to rank or help all of the submissions, by giving all of them numbers from 1st to 5th. Voter V has done the classic 'pick one', helping just one, leaving the others blank. The other voters are in-between, picking 2 or 3 or 4 each and leaving the rest.

The vote combining algorithm is simple and the results can be determined mainly by a single round of calculations. The weighted value, 'W', that each voting participant contributes towards the score of a submission they voted for is based entirely on how many submissions, 'S', in that category the participant gave a number to, and what the rank, 'R', was for the submission within that voter's rank list (going from 1 to S). The formula for 'W' is "1 - (R - 1)/S". As one person increases the number of submissions voted for, the difference in weight decreases, meaning closer to a tie; their 1st place item always gets a '1' and the others are distributed from there to 0. Using that, these are the weighted results and contributions from each voter:

Note that all calculations are done at a higher precision than is displayed here.

Voter  Weight per sub from voter
       A    B    C    D    E
------ ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Z      1.00 0.80 0.60 0.40 0.20
Y      0.33 0.67 0    1.00 0
X      0.50 0    1.00 0    0
W      1.00 0.75 0    0.50 0.25
V      0    1.00 0    0    0
------ ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Total: 2.83 3.22 1.60 1.90 0.45
Rank:  2nd  1st  4th  3rd  5th

Graphical representation:
A ****************************
B ********************************
C ****************
D *******************
E *****

The algorithm also has a final smoothing step whereby submissions whose total scores are very close will be considered to have tied. Specifically, when submissions are ordered by rank and examined from the highest score down, any submissions whose scores are within 2.0% of the highest score will tie with it; then if any numerical awards remain to be allocated, the next highest after a tied-group will be the next point of comparison for 2%. Note that, if for example the top 2 scorers tie for 1st, there will be no 2nd place award, and a 3rd place would be the next one, if any. In the above examples, the nearest any consecutive submissions got was 13.27%, so there are no ties.

The results show that the winner is submission B, which got one 1st-place vote and three 2nd-place votes; the runner-up is submission A, which got two 1st-place votes, one 2nd-place, and one 3rd-place; their scores differed by about 15%. Notice that, while the submission with fewer 1st-place votes won, its 2nd-place votes were relatively high valued given the contexts wherein each one was placed.

Winner's Awards

There should be an official winner's plaque image for award winners to take and place on their web sites, as with most previous years, available when the vote results are announced, or within the following week.

There is no guarantee of official physical prizes for the winners, although they have been given during a few past X-Days. It is possible that there will be some this year or in future years, but this hasn't been verified yet. By default, you should assume that there are no, and never will be, any physical prizes. If this changes, you will be informed.

Last Updated: 2006 March 4.

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