[EuroPython] Talk voting results

info at pycon.it info at pycon.it
Tue Apr 19 15:34:01 CEST 2011

After one week of voting, we are eager to present you the results of the talk
voting: The [full ranking is now available][1] for public consumption and we
expect the [schedule][2] to be ready on Friday

We are specifically happy about the diversity of the subjects in the highest
positions of the ranking: if you watch closely, you can find talks about web,
desktop, optimizations, advanced graphics, third-party library, testing. This
shows how large and variated the Python community is, and how Python is really
a tool for many tasks.

In addition to the talks that have been submitted and voted, we will also
integrate and announce some **talks on invitation and keynotes** that we have
selected during the past weeks, and a few **sponsored talks** delivered by our
sponsors, that we have carefully reviewed not to be commercial advertisements
but real technical talks (also, they will not be given any prominent
scheduling, so you don't have to follow them if you don't care about the

### Working on the schedule

The published ranking does not differentiate between talks and trainings, nor
between the Italian track and the rest of the conference. Instead, while
working on the scheduling, we will extract three different rankings from the
main one for those categories (talk eng, talk ita, training).

The main guidelines that we will follow are:

  * We will fill the schedule in the ranking order, and will stop when there
are no more available slots in the schedule


  * We will follow speaker's availability (eg: if a speaker is not available
on some days, we will try to match his/her constraint).

  * We will schedule talks that are higher in the ranking in larger rooms, to
reflect the expectation of a bigger audience.

  * We will try and follow speaker's indication on the preferred time slot,
but this will not always be possible. We will contact speakers separately
about this.

Since we have not decided yet how many slots to allocate for each track/day,
we still do not know exactly how many talks will be featured at EuroPython.
Just to give an idea, we expect to have room for about 100 talks (beyond
keynotes, lighting talks, [recruiting session][3], and other events).

### The geek's corner: how the ranking was made

We used the [Shulze method][4], through its implementation in the [Python
voting engine library][5]. The Schulze method is a [Condorcet method][6] that
has been already used in the FLOSS community during elections (most notably by
Debian and KDE). We will briefly describe how we treated the data and massaged
them to be useful for Shulze, but please refer to Wikipedia for more
information on how the method actually works and which [criteria it

Votes expressed by each voter were used to create a personal ranking of talks,
including ties. This pass is necessary because Schulze really cares only about
relative preference of talks (that is, it needs an answer to queries like
"does voter X prefer talk A or talk B?"), so the magnitude of the vote does
not really matter. Talks that were not voted by each voter are always tricky
to rank, but after some discussion we ended up giving them a default vote of
5, which we believe it is a good match between voters expectation and how the
algorithm works.

These personal rankings were then fed to the Shulze methods as input ballots.
As final tie-breaker, we opted to use the relative order of submission during
the CFP (talks submitted earlier are preferred to talk submitted later, in
case of a tie). The tie-breaker obviously does not matter much as we have
enough diverse inputs; in fact, it slightly affects the results (eg: changes
of 2-3 positions).

Complete anonymised voting data is [available for download][8]. The format of
the file is the one expected by Vote Engine, so you can just feed this file
through it and see the same results. The first part is where the talks IDs are
declared, together with the tie breaker; the following comment section shows
what talk really is behind each ID. Then, there the large part of the file is
the ballots: each line is the personal ranking of a random voter, using the
">" sign to express preferences and the "=" sign to express ties.

   [1]: http://ep2011.europython.eu/voting-results

   [2]: http://ep2011.europython.eu/schedule

   [3]: http://ep2011.europython.eu/work-python

   [4]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schulze_method

   [5]: http://vote.sourceforge.net/

   [6]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method


   [8]: http://ep2011.europython.eu/media/uploads/ep2011-voteengine-input.txt

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/europython/attachments/20110419/87caaa5c/attachment.html>

More information about the EuroPython mailing list