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Contesting Online Survey

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Recently the RDXC committee reclassified P3F to high power from low power without publicly providing strong evidence that any infraction had occurred. They concluded was that the contestant was running HP on 80/40m but not full-time, just 10 minutes here and there without any convincing evidence. It appears they used the RBN as their source of information. Should the RXDC contest have to publicly provide convincing evidence before reclassifying a station from LP to HP?

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Should contest logs be made available to developers of open source contest analysis and scoring software?
  Posted: Nov 22, 2002   (893 votes, 15 comments) by VE5ZX

Survey Results
Strongly agree 39% (347)
Agree 28% (254)
Not sure 16% (140)
Disagree 7% (59)
Strongly disagree 10% (93)

Survey Comments
A convergence of ideas
From the distribution of votes and the comments below there appears to be a general concensus that as long as each contestant is allowed to "opt in" or "opt out" contest logs should be made available for respectable R&D activities.

Posted by VE5ZX on December 26, 2002

Only on a case-by-case basis
One's contest log is a personal record of one's personal activities. Only the operator(s) that were present during the contest know all of the circumstances contributing to the results reflected in the log. To anyone else, they are only semi-meaningful records, which could easily be taken out of context or used for any number of ignoble purposes.

The operator(s) submitting the log should be able to decide, on a log-by-log basis, the extent to which their log should be shared, if at all. I see nothing wrong with them wanting to keep it private, and I see nothing wrong with them publishing it on the web or otherwise sharing it with whomever they so desire. But it is their decision, and they need to retain the right to make that decision for each log, and to control each log's dissemination.

WA2GO

Posted by WA2GO on December 21, 2002

No? Heck NO!
The willy-nilly publishing of raw log data would be damaging to contesting. This is supposed to be about communicating, not digesting log results. Raw log data contains information that can only be interpreted by the rightful owner of the log. During CQ WW CW, I was using a make-shift antenna. My results were embarrassing. 21 hours of grueling work for a puny score. I worked my tail off! I worked everything I could hear. Somebody could easily take that raw data, publish it in the most embarrassing way. Likewise, anyone using that log to process meaningful data would be sorely mis-informed. Only I can interpret my log in a meaningful manner. Raw data is submitted for the purpose of establishing my score, and validating the scores of others. THAT'S IT! Any sponsor sticking MY LOG on THEIR CD-ROM and selling it would be violating my privacy and would further subject the sponsor to accusations in the event that raw data was used in a malicious manner.

Absolutely not. If somebody wants my log, under the right circumstances, they can see it and digest it to their little heart's content. But it will be circumstances under my control and not the control of the sponsor.

Posted by N0FP on December 18, 2002

No? Heck NO!
The willy-nilly publishing of raw log data would be damaging to contesting. This is supposed to be about communicating, not digesting log results. Raw log data contains information that can only be interpreted by the rightful owner of the log. During CQ WW CW, I was using a make-shift antenna. My results were embarrassing. 21 hours of grueling work for a puny score. I worked my tail off! I worked everything I could hear. Somebody could easily take that raw data, publish it in the most embarrassing way. Likewise, anyone using that log to process meaningful data would be sorely mis-informed. Only I can interpret my log in a meaningful manner. Raw data is submitted for the purpose of establishing my score, and validating the scores of others. THAT'S IT! Any sponsor sticking MY LOG on THEIR CD-ROM and selling it would be violating my privacy and would further subject the sponsor to accusations in the event that raw data was used in a malicious manner.

Absolutely not. If somebody wants my log, under the right circumstances, they can see it and digest it to their little heart's content. But it will be circumstances under my control and not the control of the sponsor.

Posted by N0FP on December 18, 2002

On one condition
Each individual contestant should have to "opt in" their log for each individual contest. If the contestant doesn't explicitly give his release (on each log), then that log cannot be used in any analysis except to determine the score.

Contrary to those who "have nothing to hide" I consider that I have a LOT to hide. My stategies and tactics, developed over a lot of hours over a hot radio, can to some degree be harvested from examination of my logs. If some want to give away that advantage, more power to them, but it should be on an individual case-by-case basis without someone laying a guilt trip on you about "something to hide".

73, de Hans, K0HB

Posted by K0HB on December 17, 2002

Yes, for everybody!
Logs should be open to everyone! That could be nice! I really admire those top notch contesters like Jose CT1BOH, who kindly share their logs, to let other contesters:
a)learn a bit more,
b)decrease their curiosity,
c)have good reading material!

73
LU5DX

Posted by LU5DX on December 17, 2002

An opportunity
Doug (kr2q): There are simple economies of scale to be realized if the contest sponsors are willing to participate in this novel adventure. In fact, contest sponsors themselves provided added value to the log collection because it will be more complete. After all, high quality developers and researchers are looking for complete data sets from prestigious events. On the other hand, the sponsors do not need to administer the log collection. It can be handles by an international organization (perhaps even tied to the ITU). All we are asking them to do is deposit a copy of their log collection in a repository that is administered specifically for the purposes of assisting developers and researchers. And if an "opt out" line was added to the Cabrillo format they could filter out the logs from stations that do want their logs made available. I think, that collectively, contest sponsors and contestants can create something of significant value - a large and nearly complete collection of contest logs.

Posted by VE5ZX on December 4, 2002

nothing to hide?
Mike: Nobody has to have anything to hide. That is not the point. If you want to share your log with some other entity, then the person/group/entity wanting to conduct the "study" or "research" should set up their own webpage or email address for entrants to volunteer their logs to. The Finns did this a while back (a decade or two - or more?). They asked entrants for their logs and the entrants were free to send them their logs (or not). It should never be the responsibility of the Contest Sponsor to make logs available to the public or anyone else.

Posted by kr2q on December 4, 2002

Copyright Issue & Scientific Contributions
I suspect, there is a copyright issue as well as a privacy issue because each log is unique - i.e. no two logs have all the same entries in the same order at the same time. A simple declaration by the op placing the log in the public domain is all that is required.

I think our collective logs may have some interest to the scientific community. Have a look at "A novel perspective of amateur radio contesting" at http://www.dynamicforesight.com/~ve5zx for more background information. The scientific value of a collection of logs would higher when all of the logs are made available. The amateur radio community has a long standing tradition of making outstanding contributions to the science community. Perhaps our contest logs could be another contribution.


Posted by VE5ZX on December 2, 2002

Sure
Well, why not? I think its a good idea. That way you can study other logs etc. And its easy to do, just dump it on a webserver so people can download the logs from there. I dont have anything to hide so I dont mind if people look in my logs...

//Mike SM3W

Posted by SM3WMV on November 29, 2002

NO WAY
If anyone wants to "sample" logs submitted to a contest (or not submitted), the onus should be on them to contact the individuals OR to advertise that they want to see their logs. Contest Sponsors should NEVER make logs and their contents available to the public. Forget "permission," contest sponsors have enough to do without being a gate for that.

Posted by kr2q on November 28, 2002

Privacy Issues
Given privacy laws in both USA and VK, a simple declaration that the logs will not be accessible to anyone outside the developers is crucial, and that only higher level results and analysis would be made publically available by the third parties.

If this declaration responsibility was held by the contest organiser - prior to the contest, then by submitting a log, entrants can be confident that their data (and privacy) will be maintained.

If the third parties did abuse the priviledge, a declaration condition would state that future data access would cease.

David VK2CZ / VK8AA

Posted by vk2cz on November 25, 2002

Yes, for Propagation Research
NA3T and NV3Z have written a great program for drawing maps. One of their projects in relation to this has been analysis of propagation anomalies, particularly the kind that might only be found because there were a lot of hams operating on a band at the same time - such as during a contest.

See their pages starting at http://www.wm7d.net/azproj.shtml
under the subheading, "What we can learn from analysing contest logs." A more detailed account of his efforts is at http://www.wm7d.net/az_proj/az_html/vhf_qth_net.txt

No one should be absolutely REQUIRED to submit their log data for this; but it seems to me that it should be encouraged on a voluntary basis.

Posted by ad7db on November 25, 2002

Maybe 2 ...
I think enough contestants would volunteer their logs for this that it would be a non-issue. I don't think it should be required.

Posted by N5OT on November 25, 2002

Maybe...
Yes, with the contestant's permission.

Posted by N2MG on November 25, 2002

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