We aim to do two things with this website:
- Aggregate WFTDA inter-league bout statistics and present them in a clear, accessible form.
- Develop a computerized ranking system that will help skaters and fans interpret the most recent inter-league bout results.
It's important to stress what a computerized ranking system is and is not. In many ways, it's just as subjective as the polled ranking system that WFTDA conducts. We have decided which factors to include in the ranking algorithm, and we have subjectively decided which factors are more important than others. But the strength of a computerized ranking system is that it applies these factors objectively and across all data equally. What's more, it can process far larger datasets than a human can think about at once. The hope is that some hidden truth about skill is revealed through this method.
In addition to this, we also believe strongly in transparency. To acknowledge the subjectivity of ranking algorithms is to question its internal workings. We believe an algorithm that doesn't explain itself is useless in this domain. For this reason, we have attempted to document the algorithm to be clear as possible about what exactly this ranking system represents.