Monday, February 18, 2008

Stalk Market Analysis Update

Restate my assumptions: One, Mathematics is the language of nature. Two, Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature. Evidence: The cycling of disease epidemics; the wax and wane of caribou populations; sun spot cycles; the rise and fall of the Nile. So, what about the stock market? The universe of numbers that represents the global economy. Millions of hands at work, billions of minds. A vast network, screaming with life. An organism. A natural organism. My hypothesis: Within the stock market, there is a pattern as well... Right in front of me... hiding behind the numbers. Always has been. --Maximilian Cohen in Pi

Ever see the movie Pi? It's an intriguing flick about a compulsive-obsessive computer nerd who's trying to figure out the hidden algorithm that he believes describes the stock market.

That's what I'm trying to do with the Stalk Market but I admit that it's starting to look as Herculean a task as figuring out the chaos math behind tornadoes.

At first, I was convinced it was a random number generator but now it appears that the Stalk Market isn’t quite as random as I originally thought. As evidence, look at the two week pattern that emerges between January 21st and February 4th.

Maybe it’s based on in game events that the player is generating. For example, during that two week span I did write fewer letters to my animal pals. But then again, if that were the sole determinant my turnip prices should have bottomed out for at least a third week.

So my best guess now is a pseudo-random seed generated from a table and that is built upon by in-game random number inputs. So kind of like a draft lottery: you start with so many balls but everyone ends up with a chance at first or last pick in any given round.

At any rate, we’ll need more data to analyze. Once I have a year’s worth of figures we should be able to use pattern modeling in order to predict the estimated price of turnips. Don't forget, the data is always available from the link in the sidebar. Or just bookmark this link.

If you’ve read this far then I guess I owe you a little more than “what-ifs” and “maybes.” So here are some tips about making money in Animal Crossing: Wild World that should hold you over until next year when we crack the Stalk Market.

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