Linked In Maths

Linked In maths says that out of 10.008 million professionals now connected with me (thanks to my 3023 connections), most of them  9.358951million professionals came in my network since June 28 th. Today is June 30 th. I am thus adding 4.6 million professionals /day (or there is something wrong with this 🙂 )

-I am about to join myspace.com who needs this traffic to catch up with facebook.com…..

but only if they pay me .

Review:Iron(ic) Man

Review:Iron(ic) Man 2008

And what would you call a movie thats part loveable Marvel hero,part James Bond humor and part brilliant casting coups. As for this year, uptil now you can call it Iron Man. While The Dark Knight, or even the soon awaited Will Smith ….starring Hancock may soon be the top grossing comic super hero based movie grosser,

this one tugs at your heart,the corner of your lips and your eyes.

Yeah Baby!

ironman.gif

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Iron man stars a billionaire playboy ,sardonic,sometimes comically ironic , and reformed arms dealer Tony Stark …………played ironically by a reformed and still twinkling eyed Robert Downey Jr).Stark after a series of unfortunate events in Afghan caves decides brilliant minds ,and corporate money can be better put to use than corporate wars and weapons design.

Yes small and subtle war messages even in mainstream movies nowadays, but the chemistry between the Stark and Miss Potts (played by a still so lovely, and where have you been Mrs Coldplay……Gwenyth Paltrow) is remarkable.. and so are the movie effects, The computer generated imagery is so good .. it seems as if not generated by computers.

Watch it with your family, kids, your love, or with your college mates. This is Hollywood at it’s entertaining best !!!

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Online Analytics: Monte Carlo Simulation

Do your eyes glaze over when ever you hear the words simulation ? Simulation refers to trying to predict actual events , usually in a controlled atmosphere. Monte Carlo simulation is a type of simulation that draws on repeated random sampling to hit the result, and it is usually computed using computers (unless you are Enrico Fermi who did it in 1942.)

The classical definition as per the most peer reviewed online statistical journal (called www.wikipedia.org )

“the term describes a large and widely-used class of approaches. However, these approaches tend to follow a particular pattern:

  1. Define a domain of possible inputs.
  2. Generate inputs randomly from the domain, and perform a deterministic computation on them.
  3. Aggregate the results of the individual computations into the final result.”

and ”

Monte Carlo simulation methods are especially useful in studying systems with a large number of coupled degrees of freedom, such as liquids, disordered materials, strongly coupled solids, and cellular structures (see cellular Potts model). More broadly, Monte Carlo methods are useful for modeling phenomena with significant uncertainty in inputs, such as the calculation of risk in business (for its use in the insurance industry, see stochastic modelling). A classic use is for the evaluation of definite integrals, particularly multidimensional integrals with complicated boundary conditions.

Monte Carlo methods in finance are often used to calculate the value of companies, to evaluate investments in projects at corporate level or to evaluate financial derivatives. The Monte Carlo method is intended for financial analysts who want to construct stochastic or probabilistic financial models as opposed to the traditional static and deterministic models.”

Here is a very good example of using the simulation to calculate distribution of leads to a website and the resultant conversion rate and probabilities. The down loadable excel sheet is great for learning both this class of simulation as well , maybe adding more robust mathematics in your online estimation efforts. The site is also great for excel related stuff.mc.GIF http://www.vertex42.com/ExcelArticles/mc/SalesForecast.html 

Use it if you think estimating Online Profitabilty is more complex than :

conversion ratio *number of leads *profit per conversion-number of leads*cost per lead.

Politics of Change

Politics of Change (and other stuff)

  • You know politics is changing if your Senator is better on the internet than you are.
  • Its not changing if one candidate first puts the other person in campaign debt of 20 million and then writes a check for 2300 USD , expecting her to campaign.

change.GIF

http://www.time.com/time/cartoonsoftheweek/

  • You know politics is changing if blogs and You Tube are just as important than newspaper endorsements.
  • Its not changing when the internet just spreads rumors at a faster pace.
  • You know politics is changing when the North Koreans give up nuclear weapons on their own.
  • Its not changing if politicians fight over global warming. Thats called the weather and climate changing.
  • You know politics is changing when you have to choose between a black guy and a woman for a President.

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  • Its not changing if they just do the same old stuff.
  • You know politics is changing when people make songs and You tube videos of speeches.
  • Its not changing if speeches remain speeches.

Thanks for reading this stuff . Enjoy the change !

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The Math behind online strategy games

Online strategy games are the kind people play on Facebook , with thousands of multiple users logging in. The graphics are not as demanding as those in a virtual world (like www.secondlife.com or World of Warcraft http://www.worldofwarcraft.com )

second-life.GIF

These graphical games are hugely entertaining and addictive. unfortunately World of Warcraft is not present either in India or China.

wow.GIF

However this post talks about simpler games (which are more like optimization problems). Here gamers get a specific or variable game currency to spend (which can be tokens, gold ,or dollars). The amounts can be fixed or varying dependent on current position. The gamer then has to allocate the currency into multiple resources that increase his net worth (or prevent his net worth from decreasing by other gamer’s interventions “attacks”) .  These multiple resources can be defensive (to prevent other gamers from stealing worth or value/score) , aggresive (to steal other gamers value) or passively accretive (enhances value on stand alone basis). Usually the costs of these resources are different with different benefits . The benefits are either fixed (like in the http://www.facebook.com games Triumph or Return of the Infernals ..below) or they vary (as in the game DopeWars Online).

fb_roti.GIF

To further enhance the optimization complexity , gamers can form alliances or cartels to co ordinate strategy against other gamers.

Such games help in simulating operations production, market forces in business strategy (like the beer game) , and have now taken the leap into free online games thanks to Google’s Open social initiative and Facebook’s  pioneering application building by third party developers.

Ultimately they are simply optimization equations which seek to maximize net worth or score of a player subject to multiple fixed and variable constraints.

A good website to track the world of games is www.gamespot.com

This is a fast growing industry and creativity in designing a simple front end,financial resources to host servers , and some maths to run the back end optimization is all that is required .

You might just get some interesting cash flows from advertising, in game promotions,premium subscriptions , and bonus packs besides enjoying the game of course.

Get (or Atleast Try ) Clicky

After writing about various tools on online analytics, a good favorite is Clicky from http://getclicky.com/

It is recommended especially to WordPress users because it has a customized WP Plugin (which means all the fun without any of the code), has an affiliate referral program (it’s a tough economy !) and can help you track individual visitors with a great deal of analytical value.

You can view the www.getclicky.com site for their own benefit list.

Short of actually building a click stream capturing application (which is quite useful for tracking and building models for web mining), clickstream data is extremely helpful in generating insights as it is at a record /visitor level and can be sliced /diced and viewed for your custom insights.

As for building automated models using web data, their is another software from Kxen (www.Kxen.com). They have been around for some time , though losing out on a couple of big chances , but their web scoring module is definitely worth a dekko.

Keynes and Milton Friedman

The current economic situation is as follows –

1) Growth is high – at 8-9 % p.a

2) Inflation is even higher – at 11 % p.a

3) Inflation i s high for fuel , a huge importer (despite subsidies) and essential food items (a big importer.

4) Non -food credit growth is high (as per the Central Bank ..the Reserve Bank of India,RBI)

5) There is a general election next year , hence inflation is the top concern

6) Economy is dependent on services , and is sensitive to dollar depreciation. Inflow of investment and export dollars is almost matched by outflow for oil imports (nearly 70 %)

7) Equity markets are in a slump (down 25 % this year)

This has led to the RBI doing the following – clamp down on monetary supply by hiking key rates.

Situation is almost the same as the US except that the US has lower growth , nearly a recession , a distressed credit and mortgage market, and has big war expenditures.

Unfortunately  by clamping down on rates ,inflation is less likely to come down because both oil and food expenses are not discretionary expenses.By making capital goods more expensive, the manufacturers will likely pass the increased price to customers leading to demand slowdown first and price slowdown much later if at all. Oil and food will continue to be managed price items hence the subsidy bill on government is going to be higher thus leading to slower investment growth.It might just lead to a mortgage crisis in India as adjustable floating rates are now likely to touch 12 %.
By blindly following Friedman ‘s economic monetary policies of money control, the central banks are ignoring the fundamentals of the current crisis in which essential commodities are having increased prices, and growth is threated by global and financial market failures. Ironically these are conditions that have taken place almost 79 years ago in the macro economic event called Great Depression. A return to Keynesian economics and using the huge bulk up of stored dollars in foreign exchange funds to drive growth  rather than shrink money supply should be the way forward. It is necessary to grow out of this crisis rather than shrink and try and dodge it.

This will however require political leadership in driving long term infrastructure programs rather than short term monetary handouts and subsidies.