2-Dimensional X-Y Coordinate Graphic Solution-Space Display

Hi All,

I have another Idea:)

EteRNA’s membership base has now exceeded 17,500 people (at my last count), and is still growing fast.

So far only a fraction of those have gained lab access, but that number is also growing daily.

Already, the sheer number of entries in the lab competition means that many many people will never get to have their Lab Designs synthesized.

Because of these huge numbers, it is becoming more and more important each day that the previously submitted ideas for helping players manage the Herculean task of evaluating literally HUNDREDS of lab submission - be implemented, I’m referring to ideas like my previous one of adding a player-fillable field in the lab-list, so players can tag and rank submissions they have seen, according to their own scheme. I think this will become an indispensable tool once implemented, given the exponential and increasing growth of Lab Design Submissions, and the load this places on each and every player to make profitable and responsible voting decisions.

However, I now want to bring up yet another idea for managing the Lab Submission Evaluation Problem, and I think it is one that the Devs will agree with heartily, and like perhaps even more than I believe the players will.

I’m envisioning a 2-Dimensional X-Y Coordinate System, graphically mapping out the complete “solution-space” of all submitted entries in a zoomable Cartesian Plane.

This has 2 immediately apparent advantages:

  1. It will visually clump very similar entries together, and
  2. It will also visually locate very different entries at widely separated points within the solution-space; the more different the design, the more widely separated.

This will mean that Devs and players alike can maximize the coverage of their votes to the best designs they can find in each of the widely separated clumps of designs, in some specific corner of the total solutions-space.

It will provide a sensible way to break down the already nearly unmanageble task of examining indvidual designs into more closely related groups and sub-groups. If a player finds a design they love, the other dozen or so that are closest to it will be right there with it for comparison. The most similar designs that may require more detailed analysis, will be the closest together. Players can then choose their favorite from that clump, mark it as completed, and move on to another clump satisfied that one “base” has been covered in the best possible way. Players would soon realize that in order to maximize their scoring potential, they will have to take all their eggs out of one basket, hedge their bets, and select a group of candidates from as widely varied a set as they can see possible viability in.

Perhaps most importantly, this system would also ideally facilitate the Developer Goal of maximizing the depth and breadth of the solution-space, by delegating the task of solution-space maximization to the players on the front end, instead of the Devs having to only implement it as a tie-breaking device on the back end.

Of course, this would require the creation and design and programming of a suitable interface, where different “zooms” into the visual solution-space would be a primary element and a critical requirement.

But I think this would be a worthwhile if daunting undertaking - It would “head off at the pass” the rapidly approaching limitation-boundaries of the current list-only system.

I still think that the Player-Fillable Field is going to be a necessity in the Lab-List, which I believe must stay; but the addition of this 2-Dimensional X-YCoordinate Graphic Solution Space Display will I think fill a presently inadequately addressed need for a Scalable Lab-Submission Management Tool for players dealing with hundreds of lab submissions to choose wisely between. And which may all too soon, end up being thousands!

Thanks, and Best Regards,


Sorry if you mentioned it and I missed it, but what metrics do you suggest using for the X and Y axes? kCal? GC-to-AU pair ratio? melting point? something else?

Hi kfinity, You are correct; I purposely did not mention it at this stage, with 2 ideas in mind:

  1. to not define details too specifically, in order to spark exactly the kind of speculation your question implies, and to elicit community ideas in this regard, and 2) I had kind of imagined a variable, user defined set of configurable axis-definition options, for the purpose of allowing maximum flexibility in view variations;i.e., any of the existing data points in the Lab-List window, in one axis, plotted against any other data point in the other axis - either changeable at a mouse click.

The Devs have often mentioned Solution-Space maximization as a project goal, and I think this would serve their purposes to a tee, while adding a tremendously valuable, flexible and scalable alternative, in addition to the Lab-List window, to the player arsenal of Design Submission Management tools.

D9: This is a great idea, and indeed we were thinking of including it in early prototypes of the game. The idea got punted as the deadline to launch approached, but you’re right that we should definitely take it up again. I’ll bring it up in today’s meeting.

An image like this was initially proposed. Would love your thoughts: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330…

Sorry to those who can’t access the page.

great idea