Software or program to help me rank things.
March 2, 2014 9:20 PM   Subscribe

Can you please help me find a computer program that will help me create lists of items in a ranked order?

What I want is some kind of program or application that will let me enter a list/database of items that I want ranked, then present me with two (or more choices). It would then let me choose the one I wish to rank ahead of the other (by whatever defined criteria), recording my choice. Repeat this process many times with all of the items... Run some numbers, tabulate some results, do whatever algorithms do etc, and in the end it would present me a list of all the items ranked in terms of my preference/defined criteria.

Is what I want just way too specific, or does something like this exist? I feel like some kind of round robin tournament management software might help me achieve this end goal, but I'm not even finding anything along those lines either. Any other search terms I could try looking for?

Thanks askme!
posted by wats to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, what you just gave is essentially an old psychophysical testing procedure called the method of paired comparisons!

Yeah, you probably want to put an Elo scale under it or something. There's a lot of test theory models that talk about this. An interesting question is if everything's on a continuum, or maybe there's a rock-paper-scissors thing going on in your head.

If no one can find any software, I'll try to cook up some R code that'll do what you want.
posted by zscore at 9:50 PM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Old but useful. A member of my lab used it in this paper to determine categories of pleasing stimuli for a research participant. Here's a walk through of the method.
posted by supercres at 10:10 PM on March 2, 2014

Do you care if your rankings don't replicate well, and do you care about regions of instability?
posted by benzenedream at 10:40 PM on March 2, 2014

I doubt that there's any software that does specifically what you're trying to do. Perhaps this would be a great project on which to learn how to code?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 2:29 AM on March 3, 2014

If you want to go the 'learn how to code' route, I think you can provide a comparator function to python's sorted() method. That function could query the user as to which is bigger, then sorted() would output your ranked list based on that input. There are lots of reasons why not to do this (size of list, patience of user), but for some cases it should work. It's a fairly easy solution in those cases.
posted by jpziller at 5:19 PM on March 3, 2014

Someone smarter than me will probably come correct me shortly.
posted by jpziller at 5:23 PM on March 3, 2014

I looked into this after getting hooked on 1vs1 movie comparison-ranking site Flickchart and then becoming disappointed there were no ready alternatives for other data sets.

If you want to rank images, Ranker is free, open source, and highly customizable. Useful, for instance, if you like to take a lot of photos and want a quick way to sort the wheat from the chaff.

For arbitrary text-based stuff, I've found All Our Ideas effective. It's designed for public-facing polls, but you can create private ones only you can rank. It works on the same principle -- one-on-one comparisons, contributing to an evolving overall top-list over time.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:06 PM on March 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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