Sunday, August 24, 2008

So, who won the olympics?

Most countries use a lexicographic ordering (first gold, then silver, then bronze), but in the US they rank countries by the total number of medals (it is strange that in a meritocratic country a gold has the same value of a bronze). Both approaches are probably incorrect. The first gives too little weight to non-golds and the second gives too much weight to non-golds. What about weighting silver 2/3 and bronze 1/3? Here are the alternative rankings. The big winner is France that goes from 10th to 7th and the big loser is Japan.

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