‘One Million Times Faster’

Interesting postscript regarding The Schedule Makers, the lovely short film I linked to last week about the Stephensons, the husband-and-wife team who’d made the Major League Baseball schedule for 25 years — a blog post from Michael Trick, whose computer-driven team replaced them:

I began working on baseball scheduling in 1994, and it took ten years of hard work (first Doug and me, then the four of us) before MLB selected our schedule for play.

Why were we successful in 2004 and not in 1994? At the core, technology changed. The computers we used in 2004 were 1000 times faster than the 1994 computers. And the underlying optimization software was at least 1000 times faster. So technology made us at least one million times faster. And that made all the difference. Since then, computers and algorithms have made us 1000 times faster still. And, in addition, we learned quite a bit about how to best do complicated sports scheduling problems.

Thursday, 21 November 2013