# [EM] Steve's reply:: Deterministic Epsilon Consensus Idea stimulated by a question of Steve Bosworth

Kristofer Munsterhjelm km_elmet at t-online.de
Fri Oct 8 12:46:46 PDT 2021

```On 08.10.2021 07:25, Forest Simmons wrote:
> The verbiage is intended for developers, not users. Programmers have to
> convert everything to numbers via ASCII codes, etc. All of this must be
> out of sight to keep the users from pointless worry. The design stage is
> for the EM scientists to work out the nitty gritty details. Yes, it's
> fun for us, but it is also necessary... for us, but not for Joe Q
> Public. You are not a programmer, but you are a promoter, so you need to
> know more than the user, but not as much as a software engineer. Does
> that help?

Let me try to make what might be Steve's implicit argument a little
stronger.

With MJ, it's true that if you want to assign numerical values to the
grades, the exact numbers you use don't matter as long as they're
monotone in the grades themselves: the number assigned to Poor should be
less than the number assigned to Acceptable, and so on.

Is that true of the epsilon method? If not, it requires more information
than MJ. If I recall correctly, by B&L's model, the grades are not
supposed to exist on any given numerical scale, but the society that
uses MJ should have a common idea of what "Excellent" means relative to
"Poor".

I have only cursorily read the method proposal, but you said:

> Note that if epsilon is one, the method is just Range Voting on a
> scale of zero to five ... which gives a clear incentive for
> concentrating ratings to the extremes of zero and five, or the extremes
> of "reject" and "excellent" in the MJ terminology.

That suggests that the epsilon method has a more demanding
interpretation of the grades - that a common language of what
"Excellent" means is not enough, since it implicitly assigns each grade
a definite score if epsilon happens to be chosen to be one.

-km
```