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MomoMuffins

stats rant: sigma should really be 1/sigma

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The use of sigma as inversely proportional to dispersion is counter to conventional statistical definition, in which sigma is the standard deviation of a distribution and thus proportional to its width.

Right now, the way WG explains dispersion is by having a fraction F of shells fall within a given dispersion area (e.g. 640 m) where F is the area under a standard normal distribution in the interval of [-sigma,+sigma]. So for sigma = 1, we expect about 68% of shells to land within the dispersion area and for sigma = 2 this value goes up to 95%. 

To me, this is completely backwards. Either, rename sigma to some other letter that doesn't suggest proportionality with dispersion or, better IMHO, redefine sigma to be the dispersion area within which some fraction of shell land (e.g. 50%). 

This would match better other quantities that have length in their unit, such as turning radius and speed. It makes much more sense to say that ship X has a "sigma" of 400m (e.g. 50% of shots fall within horizontal spread of +/- 200m of aiming point).

This has been bothering me for a while and I needed to get it off my deck.

 

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Yeah, I've thought it was weird that they used sigma in exactly the opposite sense, but two things. First, it's not the complete dispersion, only a part of it. Second, I'm sure it's a translation from the Russian so my guess is that it's meant to approximate a technical Russian term which makes more sense. As a professor once told me, all translations are wrong, but some are wrong enough to be marked wrong on an exam.

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26 minutes ago, AJTP89 said:

As a professor once told me, all translations are wrong, but some are wrong enough to be marked wrong on an exam. 

That's quite succinct. When I'm translating from Spanish to English or vice versa, sometimes I need to add context because the translations are not 1 to 1. All translations are wrong is an excellent way of putting it.

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54 minutes ago, AJTP89 said:

As a professor once told me, all translations are wrong, but some are wrong enough to be marked wrong on an exam.

I don't know, some things are universal. You haven't heard my dad's ability to curse in Arabic.

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10 minutes ago, JediMasterDraco said:

I don't know, some things are universal. You haven't heard my dad's ability to curse in Arabic.

But if it's universal it's not a translation:Smile_teethhappy:

 

My Dad has a story from when he was in grad school and was visiting Italy. Both my dad and his friend spoke Italian and English. They were out somewhere, and an Italian friend of my Dad's friend meets them. He doesn't speak any English, so my dad's friend took advantage of this. He introduced him to my dad in a friendly tone in English while using a wide range of insults. The Italian guy stood there smiling and nodding while his friend cheerfully called him a long list of English insults. He gave it away though when he used the word stupid, which means exactly the same thing in Italian. At that point the Italian guy realized he was being pranked, and started protesting, and apparently everyone (including him) had a good laugh about it. But stupid isn't a translation of stupido, the word is the same in both languages. 

And I think cursing is universally understood. You might not get the details, but you can imagine. Driving with my Dad and my uncle is hilarious, they have a constant running derogatory commentary half in English half in Italian about everyone else on the road.

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