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Old 2021-07-18, 06:24   #1
Dobri
 
May 2018

26×3 Posts
Post Is it forbidden to talk about manual testing strategies?

Manual testing is an essential part of GIMPS.
It the test assignments are generated only by the server, the project would be far less popular.
When volunteers select prime exponents manually, they often rely on their intuition, personal preferences, and empirical strategies rather than to just randomly shoot in the dark.
However, do the volunteers dare to share publicly their empirical manual testing strategies?

The OP doubts that after one of their threads was closed and a subsequent attempt to continue it was also closed.
First there was the attempt of intimidation by the mods by altering the title of the thread and posting sublime messages that hinted that they knew something about the personality of the OP (the funny part was that they were not even close).
Then there was the mocking that supposedly the OP intends to make "discoveries" when he actually posts simple verifiable empirical observations for the purpose of an ongoing discussion.
Finally, there was the post by a user who attached a fake graph (with non-normalized probabilities exceeding unity, and using a linear heuristic they admitted in a preceding post to not necessarily believe in) to 'compare' it with the tiny sample size of known Mersenne primes with the intention to disprove the OP (actually, the upper part of the fake graph tends to zero, which is in accordance with the zero Mersenne primes discovered in that upper domain) and asking for the thread to be closed.

Does this mean that all empirical manual testing strategies are inefficient, should not be pursued, and the 'best' way is to randomly select prime exponents?
Should the ones who think otherwise be suppressed and ridiculed?
What happened to the freedom of expression and the trials-and-errors way science operates?
Should ordinary users be intimidated by 'we-know-best' anonymous users with connections to the mods?

I hope that this thread could allow for an open discussion on manual testing strategies.
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Old 2021-07-18, 06:45   #2
slandrum
 
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You are free to choose whatever methods (silly or practical) you want to select candidates to search. You can even say what you are doing and why, but when you go beyond and start suggesting that there's some actual basis to the selection that others should be considering without any supplying math or reasoning to back it up (other than statistics based on a ridiculously small sample), expect to meet resistance.

There are lots of specious claims made all the time, and there's not really enough time to discuss them all. To merit discussion, most people want some actual substance.
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Old 2021-07-18, 07:05   #3
RomanM
 
Jun 2021

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Nanos gigantum humeris insidentes
Sometimes, we just start jumping on the shoulders)
and after few fall, most wise
just stretch the neck,
no wonder they hiss like geese
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Old 2021-07-18, 08:19   #4
kriesel
 
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Some good reasons to manually select exponents:
Organized drives to prioritize retesting exponents with conflicting results
Manual selection to QA test software near currently set upper exponent limits of FFT lengths
Random selection as QA, to perhaps stumble upon some unknown issue
Personal subprojects, which can vary greatly. Near-repdigits, 100Mdigits, rhymes, etc.
Refuting with factors or verified primality test results, dubious claims others make
Selections that serve multiple good reasons with the same exponent

Some less-good reasons:
Fallacious reasoning
Pseudo-science
Superstition
Numerology
Bad advice from someone else
Setting records for their own sake
Selfish self-interest (increasing your own chances of prize money or fame, by reducing others', cherry picking to the extent practical)

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2021-07-18 at 08:19
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Old 2021-07-18, 08:30   #5
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Some less-good reasons:
Fallacious reasoning
Pseudo-science
Superstition
Numerology
Bad advice from someone else
Setting records for their own sake
I'm fine with all of those reasons.

People can choose whatever they want. If it turns out to be useless then they will learn that eventually, while in the meantime they get involved.

As others above have mentioned, when those "silly" reasons are pushed as some sort of magical solution to improving chances, then that crosses the line into something else.

So, if you want to choose a number because it is the date of your birthday, or whatever, then go for it, but don't try to make it look like that is some sort serious mathematics.
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Old 2021-07-18, 09:13   #6
Dobri
 
May 2018

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Quote:
Originally Posted by slandrum View Post
You are free to choose whatever methods (silly or practical) you want to select candidates to search. You can even say what you are doing and why, but when you go beyond and start suggesting that there's some actual basis to the selection that others should be considering without any supplying math or reasoning to back it up (other than statistics based on a ridiculously small sample), expect to meet resistance.

There are lots of specious claims made all the time, and there's not really enough time to discuss them all. To merit discussion, most people want some actual substance.
This is the tricky part with empirical observations. There is no way to back it up until a major breakthrough happens.

The OP does not claim that there is an actual basis, it is just an observation from the small sample that is open for discussion.
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Old 2021-07-18, 09:25   #7
Dobri
 
May 2018

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomanM View Post
Nanos gigantum humeris insidentes
Sometimes, we just start jumping on the shoulders)
and after few fall, most wise
just stretch the neck,
no wonder they hiss like geese
The OP totally agrees with this. The only giant here is George. Not just a giant, more than that, a titan.
Simply the olympic jumpers should tolerate and respect the other modest jumpers (recall the fable about the fast rabbit and the slow turtle).
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Old 2021-07-18, 09:41   #8
retina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobri View Post
Simply the olympic jumpers should tolerate and respect the other modest jumpers ...
You elevate yourself beyond your position.

You are the bystander in the crowd, issuing unasked for advice to the competitors. "Turn tighter, don't lose you balance, keep your arms in, etc.". They already know those things, there is no need to tell them, it is just a distraction. And worse, it is useless and/or wrong advice, "Close your eyes and use the force, pray to ${deity} for help, think of the fame and fortune if when you win, ..."
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Old 2021-07-18, 10:02   #9
Dobri
 
May 2018

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriesel View Post
Some good reasons to manually select exponents:
Organized drives to prioritize retesting exponents with conflicting results
Manual selection to QA test software near currently set upper exponent limits of FFT lengths
Random selection as QA, to perhaps stumble upon some unknown issue
Personal subprojects, which can vary greatly. Near-repdigits, 100Mdigits, rhymes, etc.
Refuting with factors or verified primality test results, dubious claims others make
Selections that serve multiple good reasons with the same exponent

Some less-good reasons:
Fallacious reasoning
Pseudo-science
Superstition
Numerology
Bad advice from someone else
Setting records for their own sake
Selfish self-interest (increasing your own chances of prize money or fame, by reducing others', cherry picking to the extent practical)
So it seems that there is a shortage of good reasons except for mainly supportive QA tasks.

Concerning the less-good reasons:
- Fallacious reasoning: It happens all the time, but actually it is good to learn from one's errors.
- Pseudo-science: The evidence in empirical observations is always limited, so having a hypothesis and following a lead is normal. If it is exhausted and found to be wrong, it is a result of fallacious reasoning.
- Superstition: It would be too far indeed to think that mathematics could be linked to supernatural phenomena.
- Numerology: Obviously, there is no link between an abstract number and an actual event. Considering digit sums as numerology is borderline, Simply digit sums represent a multitude of numbers in combinatorics.
- Bad advice from someone else: It happens. Sometimes a bad advise to stop doing what you are doing is given for all the 'good' reasons.
- Setting records for their own sake: All records in finding large primes are set for their own sake until eventually a practical application is found.
- Selfish self-interest (increasing your own chances of prize money or fame, by reducing others', cherry picking to the extent practical): First of all, money is out of question, because the prize money could not cover even the electricity bills. Concerning fame, well, this is a teamwork and everyone is credited for the discovery (but let's be honest, it feels good). And there is nothing wrong with competitive advantage, if there is a small element of excitement in prime hunting, everyone just feels more motivated.
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Old 2021-07-18, 10:20   #10
Dobri
 
May 2018

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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
You elevate yourself beyond your position.

You are the bystander in the crowd, issuing unasked for advice to the competitors. "Turn tighter, don't lose you balance, keep your arms in, etc.". They already know those things, there is no need to tell them, it is just a distraction. And worse, it is useless and/or wrong advice, "Close your eyes and use the force, pray to ${deity} for help, think of the fame and fortune if when you win, ..."
The thread is about sharing simple empirical observations rather than giving an advice.
The observations can be simple (even elementary) but there are no meaningless observations as soon or later they serve their purpose to connect the dots.
It is not about winning or losing, it is about devising strategies (if at all possible) for manual testing.
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Old 2021-07-18, 10:32   #11
Dobri
 
May 2018

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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
I'm fine with all of those reasons.

People can choose whatever they want. If it turns out to be useless then they will learn that eventually, while in the meantime they get involved.

As others above have mentioned, when those "silly" reasons are pushed as some sort of magical solution to improving chances, then that crosses the line into something else.

So, if you want to choose a number because it is the date of your birthday, or whatever, then go for it, but don't try to make it look like that is some sort serious mathematics.
Narrowing the scope of work is a scientific task.
I myself do no expect to discover the next Mersenne prime, using strategies is a teamwork.

But let me propose a friendly bet: If the digit sum of the next discovered Mersenne prime exponent is less than or equal to 41, then the forum will reopen the closed thread. And if the digit sum is greater than 41, I will admit the fallacy of my reasoning and leave the forum.
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