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Doc_musketeers

How to deal with negligent CO

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17 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

So I just learned of the existence of the CHS when it first came up on this thread. Is this something that only runs behind the scene and throws out alerts or is it an actual number that a CO can access anytime? If so, how? I can't find it on the dashboard or profile.

No it's a hidden metric reviewers can use to determine whether to take action on a cache or not after they look at the situation. It's entirely automated in that if the score drops below an arbitrary threshold it'll shoot out an email notice to the owner that it "looks like there might be a problem with the cache" and to check on it. There is contention as to whether the wording should be changed since it's inferred by many that the only option is to physically check and maintain the cache or it'll be archived (this isn't true).

There's also issue because it seems the CHS was also used to 'reward' the "top 1000" hiders with a new Virtual listing to publish. And with the known issue of false positives and ongoing tweaking of the algorithm to be more accurate, many felt that was unfair.

As to the OP, the CHS does an excellent job of pointing out negligent COs.  However, it can also falsely identify good caches and by association make their COs feel identified as "bad" or negligent owners. So it's not perfect...

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7 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

If cachers are really reasoning this way it really would be important for GS to clarify the effect of DNFs. Otherwise ithe whole CHS system is preventing feedback instead of enabling it.

Exactly how I feel.  People should keep posting DNFs, because those themselves are not the issue, and even if it does result in a false positive, it's very very easy to reset it. Reviewers can make judgements after that.

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9 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

If cachers are really reasoning this way it really would be important for GS to clarify the effect of DNFs. Otherwise ithe whole CHS system is preventing feedback instead of enabling it. I think DNFs have numerous values beyond possibly indicating a problem. They let the CO know that cachers are at least visiting their hide, and when a CO sets up a challenging cache, its only fair for searchers to log their attempts. Both the inventive (evil) CO and successful cachers  need the feedback to encourage the game to continue or even improve. If I set up a D:4 or 5 and the only cachers that log their visit are the successful ones it prevents me from knowing how many cachers actually visited and were truly challenged. It makes it hard to access the actual difficulty rating I've assigned it too.

Other than a few instances that occurred when the CHS was first implemented I haven't seen nor heard of any issues regarding dnfs and the CHS.   People who continue to rail against the CHS are doing so because they feel they have to, not because of any current issues with the system.    I almost wish the existence of the CHS was kept a secret so we could all go back to blaming the Geocaching app for all our problems.   

Half the geocaching community probably doesn't know about the CHS yet caching goes on.   The one's Who do know about it have found a way to twist it into a reason to stop posting dnfs.

You've just found out about it recently.   Up to this point did you notice that anything about geocaching had changed?   

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25 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

 

You've just found out about it recently.   Up to this point did you notice that anything about geocaching had changed?   

We've only been caching since last April so besides the dashboard change we haven't seen most of the changes we see being discussed. And obviously, based on the OP, if anything we see ailing caches languishing on, even with a very attentive Reviewer, so we definitely haven't seen any signs that the CHS has caused any turmoil. I guess if it generates a private email to the CO we wouldn't know about it, although I think if I was required to respond to an email like that and had to post OM or alter a rating that I didn't feel was warranted I'd probably mention it in the log, and I've never seen such a comment

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

Other than a few instances that occurred when the CHS was first implemented I haven't seen nor heard of any issues regarding dnfs and the CHS.   People who continue to rail against the CHS are doing so because they feel they have to, not because of any current issues with the system.    I almost wish the existence of the CHS was kept a secret so we could all go back to blaming the Geocaching app for all our problems.

The CHS came into being in mid 2015 and incidents (mainly from the UK) of emails triggered by just one or two DNFs with no NMs or other indications of problems were reported in another thread here as recently as October this year. And in the dashboard maintenance widget release notes thread a couple of weeks back, someone was resorting to deleting DNF logs on a perfectly good cache trying to make the widget, which is linked to the CHS, go away. Hardly just when it was "first implemented", is it?

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

And we know for a fact that DNFs alone don't negatively affect the CHS, though everyone now thinks they do and many cachers have declared they're not posting DNFs any more.  We know that various contexts surrounding the DNFs are what affect the CHS, and we know that Groundspeak has and does tweak the algorithm based on feedback about false positives and whatnot.

Sorry, but I can't let this go unchallenged. On a D2/T5 cache:

10 Nov 2016 Published
19 Nov 2016 WN from someone wondering if there were any takers
20 Nov 2016 Found it FTF
25 Dec 2016 DNF - search affected by muggles
30 Dec 2016 CHS email received

Care to suggest what the "context" was in this instance?

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41 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Care to suggest what the "context" was in this instance?

Nope, because I don't know. But I can imagine any number of other factors that may have influenced the score to some degree, beyond strict listing details.  Even so, as I said, the algorithm is imperfect and if there's a false positive for whatever reason, ignoring it helps no one - let someone inside know so they can determine if there was indeed a false positive, or if whatever algorithmic factor invoked the email actually did its job just as they intended.

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7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Nope, because I don't know. But I can imagine any number of other factors that may have influenced the score to some degree, beyond strict listing details.  Even so, as I said, the algorithm is imperfect and if there's a false positive for whatever reason, ignoring it helps no one - let someone inside know so they can determine if there was indeed a false positive, or if whatever algorithmic factor invoked the email actually did its job just as they intended.

Sorry, but I can't imagine what any of those other factors might have been. There was no correspondence with the reviewer either prior to or after publication, no logs were deleted, nothing underhanded at all. I hid the cache, submittted it, it got published, found, DNFed and then pinged. End of story. The only "explanation" I was ever offered was that it was because it only had one find prior to the DNF, but isn't that to be expected for a T5 cache that's only a few weeks old?

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

The CHS came into being in mid 2015 and incidents (mainly from the UK) of emails triggered by just one or two DNFs with no NMs or other indications of problems were reported in another thread here as recently as October this year. And in the dashboard maintenance widget release notes thread a couple of weeks back, someone was resorting to deleting DNF logs on a perfectly good cache trying to make the widget, which is linked to the CHS, go away. Hardly just when it was "first implemented", is it?

Based on the 6 million caches it monitors I'd say it's less than a non issue.  As a matter of fact we've been given examples of how it helps reviewers every day.  But no, lets ignore that and focus on the hand full of false positives.

    

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34 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Sorry, but I can't imagine what any of those other factors might have been.

How about... owner account standing, other owned cache scores affecting likelihood of an issue, other nearby cache statuses that might afftect the local region, logging style of the DNFer, who knows... we don't. That's why I said "beyond strict listing details". There are plenty of environmental/contextual factors that might affect the score. Or not. We don't know.

Even so, if you feel it's a false positive for whatever reason, then report it. If it is, that report will be helpful to the algorithm-tweakers.

(If, of course, it's a respectful report and not a ranting diatribe against the developers which they'd rather ignore...:mmraspberry:)

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58 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Sorry, but I can't imagine what any of those other factors might have been. There was no correspondence with the reviewer either prior to or after publication, no logs were deleted, nothing underhanded at all. I hid the cache, submittted it, it got published, found, DNFed and then pinged. End of story. The only "explanation" I was ever offered was that it was because it only had one find prior to the DNF, but isn't that to be expected for a T5 cache that's only a few weeks old?

How did you deal with it? When this widget activates can you "respond" directly? You say you did get an explanation of sorts, was that from a Reviewer? Did they still expect you to alter something or check the cache or could they clear the widget?

sorry for the 20 questions, I'm just trying to understand what the actual impact is of any false positives. Mere annoyance vs Archival, etc.

Edited by Doc_musketeers

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38 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

Based on the 6 million caches it monitors I'd say it's less than a non issue.  As a matter of fact we've been given examples of how it helps reviewers every day.  But no, lets ignore that and focus on the hand full of false positives.    

It's hard to care about the millions and millions of caches that are being monitored without incident, when the caches that you are most interested in seem to be particularly subject to false positives. Some geocachers are particularly drawn to the uncommon geocaches that you like to dismiss as an irrelevant edge case.

The system really needs to handle false positives better.

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8 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

How did you deal with it? When this widget activates can you "respond" directly? You say you did get an explanation of sorts, was that from a Reviewer? Did they still expect you to alter something or check the cache or could they clear the widget?

There's no 'widget'. Well, the profile widget at least is based off the CHS report. But the email reminder which is an automated form leter, not from a reviewer, was in play long before the new profile widget that helps highlight potential problem caches, and it's the emails that had everyone up in arms (first).

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31 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

How about... owner account standing, other owned cache scores affecting likelihood of an issue, other nearby cache statuses that might afftect the local region, logging style of the DNFer, who knows... we don't. That's why I said "beyond strict listing details". There are plenty of environmental/contextual factors that might affect the score. Or not. We don't know.

Account standing - premium member since 2013, never lapsed, no NMs or NAs logged against any caches, no disputes with reviewers or (prior to this) HQ, no appeals by or against me.

Other owned caches - no NMs or NAs ever logged, just the usual spattering of DNFs on some of them, the only archived caches were voluntarily archived by me after storm damage (fallen trees, flooding, etc) or repeated muggling without any prodding from reviewers or finders.

Nearby cache statuses - the nearest other cache is 700 metres away and is in good standing.

DNFer logging style - well it was quite a long log, mostly about her adventure through the waypoints and the muggle family that had set up camp close to GZ. No mention of "missing", "mould" or any other keywords that might imply a cache problem.

The Help Centre page says:

This algorithm is based on a combination of logs and circumstances, including

  • Did Not Find (DNF)
  • Needs Maintenance (NM)
  • Needs Archived (NA)
  • Caches that have not been found in a long time
  • Difficulty and terrain rating

Since you say it's a fact that a single DNF won't lower the score, I'm totally baffled as to what did, and nobody who knew was willing to tell me.

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22 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

There's no 'widget'. Well, the profile widget at least is based off the CHS report. But the email reminder which is an automated form leter, not from a reviewer, was in play long before the new profile widget that helps highlight potential problem caches, and it's the emails that had everyone up in arms (first).

Thanks for the links. For some reason I didn't find all of them when I ran a search. 

The discussion about the phrasing of the email seems the most pertinent. It seems GS wanted to create something that would alert COs to a potential issue, but we're inviting response AND input.

I can see how needing to respond to such emails would be annoying if COs were receiving multiple false positives. But  One unwarranted email?

Am I correct that all the CO needs to do is respond to show they are alive and active, explain the cache is fine, and maybe try to help figure out why it triggered the email -then move on? Unless there's some permanent black spot on your secret file back at HQ I don't see why it's that problematic. They agree it's a work in progress. We've spent 150ish posts discussing neglected caches and how to help mitigate that phenomenon.

As long as they don't set up a system where a drone is automatically deployed  to remove my cache based on some algorithm and without dialogue, it seems some sort of monitoring system would go a long way toward fighting this issue.

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31 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

How did you deal with it? When this widget activates can you "respond" directly? You say you did get an explanation of sorts, was that from a Reviewer? Did they still expect you to alter something or check the cache or could they clear the widget?

sorry for the 20 questions, I'm just trying to understand what the actual impact is of any false positives. Mere annoyance vs Archival, etc.

It's a long story and I'll get into trouble if I try to tell it all again, but there was no widget then, just the email. I'd already ascertained from the DNFer that she'd been looking in the wrong tree (about 5 metres away from the right one which was apparently too close to the muggles for her to search) and she went back and found it a week later so it definitely wasn't missing or in need of maintenance. I tried reporting the false positive to HQ through the Help Centre - after first reminding me that cache owners agree to maintain their caches when they submit them, they eventually relented and accepted that the cache was okay after the DNFer had logged her subsequent find. No explanation was ever given.

As for impact, my understanding is that, in addition to the email suggesting you fix the cache and log an OM, disable it until you can or archive it, it gets flagged to the reviewers who'll then check whether you've done anything to improve the cache's score and can decide, based on the evidence in the logs and any other "considerations", whether further action is warranted. There's now the dashboard widget that's just an indicator that one or more of your caches is below the CHS threshold, and the CHS was used in the selection algorithm for the recent virtual rewards.

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I wasn't trying to say you were the problem. And you can quote me on the points that I said I don't know what caused it. We especially don't know the weight points in the algorithm or what contexts affect what how much.  You can also quote on the fact that I don't recall ever reading anywhere that DNFs do not individually and directly lower the cache score. Everything I said was that we do not know, and the fact that it appears as true has caused people to avoid them, and taken with everything else we do know about the algorithm (ie through commentary from TPTB within the forums), that I said "I think it's safe to say". And you can also quote me that I've (hopefully) encouraged anyone with what they believe to be false positive reports, for whatever reason, to report them so they can be addressed one way or another.  Or you can just not quote me, cuz ultimately my opinions about it mean nothing =P

I suppose I misspoke when I stated "And we know for a fact that DNFs alone don't negatively affect the CHS" - so don't quote me on that. Rather, I go by what I read from the horse's mouth as fact, and hold anything else as suspect when it comes to problems and concerns.  Including the CHS. DNFs alone have had no confirmation either way for their affect on the CHS. But we can infer from everything we know that they don't. That could be wrong. But without confirmation, all I see is speculation. And since we have an enormous unknown nebula of potential reasons when it comes to determining "why" a cache owner got an email, I find it very presumptuous to assume that it really was a single lone DNF for no other conceivable reason that caused the harmless nudge email.  And even if it was, mechanisms exist to help GS tweak the algorithm to lessen the chance in the future. Because of CONTEXT.

 

ETA: Here's why I think it's essentially a fact: Let's consider this theoretical instance - If one report was sent in for a false positive, because it was indeed flagged by a single lone DNF that was a non-issue, then if TPTB felt that the algorithm should be adjusted, then that one lone report would have negated the effect of that single-lone-DNF by surrounding it with other factors to attempt to reduce those instances. Thus the single-lone-DNF factor would have then become a contextual one. Logically, I cannot fathom how a single-lone-DNF would, without influence of any other factor, affect the CHS.  The algorithm is complex, meaning DNFs are weighed against other contextual factors to determine their weight. With no other factors, the DNF itself, alone, would have to score +0.

My theory of some algorithmic factors would be something, simplistically speaking, like:
DNF = +0
DNF+DNF(day+1) = -1
DNF*10 (in 1 day) = -1
DNF+DNF(day+1)+DNF(day+2)...DNF(day+10) = -50 = Nudge email
etc

The tweaks could happen in the formulas or the weights. Who knows. That's up to the tweakers. :P

Edited by thebruce0
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7 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It's a long story and I'll get into trouble if I try to tell it all again, but there was no widget then, just the email. I'd already ascertained from the DNFer that she'd been looking in the wrong tree (about 5 metres away from the right one which was apparently too close to the muggles for her to search) and she went back and found it a week later so it definitely wasn't missing or in need of maintenance. I tried reporting the false positive to HQ through the Help Centre - after first reminding me that cache owners agree to maintain their caches when they submit them, they eventually relented and accepted that the cache was okay after the DNFer had logged her subsequent find. No explanation was ever given.

As for impact, my understanding is that, in addition to the email suggesting you fix the cache and log an OM, disable it until you can or archive it, it gets flagged to the reviewers who'll then check whether you've done anything to improve the cache's score and can decide, based on the evidence in the logs and any other "considerations", whether further action is warranted. There's now the dashboard widget that's just an indicator that one or more of your caches is below the CHS threshold, and the CHS was used in the selection algorithm for the recent virtual rewards.

I haven't had any direct communication with HQ. the fact they mentioned trying to make their email "respectful" shows there might have been a problem with their communication. From your story I can see that it's a bit more than a nuisance. A tool like this is great if it encourages action and communication but they have to be ready to play their role too. if they want to "force" COs to respond when it appears to be a false positive they should be ready to explain why they think it's legitimate, not just remind you of your responsibilities.

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11 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I wasn't trying to say you were the problem. And you can quote me on the points that I said I don't know what caused it. We especially don't know the weight points in the algorithm or what contexts affect what how much.  You can also quote on the fact that I don't recall ever reading anywhere that DNFs do not individually and directly lower the cache score. Everything I said was that we do not know, and the fact that it appears as true has caused people to avoid them, and taken with everything else we do know about the algorithm (ie through commentary from TPTB within the forums), that I said "I think it's safe to say". And you can also quote me that I've (hopefully) encouraged anyone with what they believe to be false positive reports, for whatever reason, to report them so they can be addressed one way or another.  Or you can just not quote me, cuz ultimately my opinions about it mean nothing =P

I suppose I misspoke when I stated "And we know for a fact that DNFs alone don't negatively affect the CHS" - so don't quote me on that. Rather, I go by what I read from the horse's mouth as fact, and hold anything else as suspect when it comes to problems and concerns.  Including the CHS. DNFs alone have had no confirmation either way for their affect on the CHS. But we can infer from everything we know that they don't. That could be wrong. But without confirmation, all I see is speculation. And since we have an enormous unknown nebula of potential reasons when it comes to determining "why" a cache owner got an email, I find it very presumptuous to assume that it really was a single lone DNF for no other conceivable reason that caused the harmless nudge email.  And even if it was, mechanisms exist to help GS tweak the algorithm to lessen the chance in the future. Because of CONTEXT.

The other possibility is that there's a bug in their algorithm code that causes it to occasionally ping perfectly good caches with just one or two DNFs.

As for the mechanisms to help them tweak it, the email message doesn't invite any feedback and the Help Centre didn't seem interested, but maybe that's changed now, I hope so.

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

As for the mechanisms to help them tweak it, the email message doesn't invite any feedback and the Help Centre didn't seem interested, but maybe that's changed now, I hope so.

 

47 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

This thread discussed changing the original wording to acknowledge that there might be false positives and inviting feedback. I can't tell if it was ever implemented 

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8 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

The other possibility is that there's a bug in their algorithm code that causes it to occasionally ping perfectly good caches with just one or two DNFs.

As for the mechanisms to help them tweak it, the email message doesn't invite any feedback and the Help Centre didn't seem interested, but maybe that's changed now, I hope so.

Agreed.

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12 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

I haven't had any direct communication with HQ. the fact they mentioned trying to make their email "respectful" shows there might have been a problem with their communication. From your story I can see that it's a bit more than a nuisance. A tool like this is great if it encourages action and communication but they have to be ready to play their role too. if they want to "force" COs to respond when it appears to be a false positive they should be ready to explain why they think it's legitimate, not just remind you of your responsibilities.

If it'd been a suburban cache I'd have just checked on it and logged the OM, but it was a water-access only T5 and it all happened in the middle of our summer holidays when the normally quiet waterway was packed with water skiers and jet skis so I really didn't want to have to paddle my little kayak out in amongst all that to check on a cache I knew was fine, and I'm not into logging armchair OMs.

Edited by barefootjeff
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22 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 I tried reporting the false positive to HQ through the Help Centre - 

As for impact, my understanding is that, in addition to the email suggesting you fix the cache and log an OM, disable it until you can or archive it, it gets flagged to the reviewers who'll then check whether you've done anything to improve the cache's score and can decide, based on the evidence in the logs and any other "considerations", whether further action is warranted.

So the email either expects action or communication with HQ to explain ... and HQ might agree that there's nothing you should do, but that doesnt necessarily improve the Health Score. And if your score stayed low, that could attract the attention of a local Reviewer who wouldn't know (or would they?) about the  conversation with HQ?

Am I understanding that correctly? If so yikes. I would hope HQ had a way to override the algorithm, and that any decisions they made would prevent action from a local Reviewer.

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9 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

So the email either expects action or communication with HQ to explain ... and HQ might agree that there's nothing you should do, but that doesnt necessarily improve the Health Score. And if your score stayed low, that could attract the attention of a local Reviewer who wouldn't know (or would they?) about the  conversation with HQ?

Am I understanding that correctly? If so yikes. I would hope HQ had a way to override the algorithm, and that any decisions they made would prevent action from a local Reviewer.

Again it's a matter of a reviewer being reasonable. With the reviewer being the first to take action if they felt it was necessary after checking the listing and history, then going to HQ may be the best initial owner response to the email; but even if so, I'd guess HQ would suggest you post a note or an OM log with sufficient explanation. The reviewer won't (shouldn't) just immediately archive or disable merely because of a low CHS, especially if it's pretty clear there isn't a problem - they'd do the regular process as usual. Plus if you have already OM'd then the issue is reset. And, it's unlikely HQ would recommend just ignoring the email if it doesn't seem clear in the listing and logs that there's no problem and an energetic reviewer might therefore take extreme proactive action against the listing...

...which, even then, can easily be reversed. And once again we're theorizing a set of circumstances that would be extremely rare in the grand scheme, and likely be quite an a exceptional exception...

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22 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Plus if you have already OM'd then the issue is reset.

So posting the OM automatically resets to a healthy score? I understand and respect  barefootjeff not wanting to post "armchair maintenance" but it almost seems like we need to expand our acceptance of what "Owner Maintenance" means. If there's no reason to think the cache is in distress and that's been clarified with HQ or a Reviewer it seems they should be able to reset the score. If they can't, then as long as you don't claim any false actions, seeing a well-phrased OM wouldn't strike me as dishonest.

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14 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

So posting the OM automatically resets to a healthy score? I understand and respect  barefootjeff not wanting to post "armchair maintenance" but it almost seems like we need to expand our acceptance of what "Owner Maintenance" means. If there's no reason to think the cache is in distress and that's been clarified with HQ or a Reviewer it seems they should be able to reset the score. If they can't, then as long as you don't claim any false actions, seeing a well-phrased OM wouldn't strike me as dishonest.

Expecting people to change the way they log to make the CHS work is the wrong approach. The CHS needs to be designed to work with the way people actually log.

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8 minutes ago, niraD said:

Expecting people to change the way they log to make the CHS work is the wrong approach. The CHS needs to be designed to work with the way people actually log.

Agreed. As I said I would expect false positives to be fixed administratively. And that the CHS be adjusted to eliminate such problems in the future. But in this rare exception, if I was told that the only way to fix my particular situation was to post an OM, I wouldn't feel guilty. We are dealing with computer software here. I've had techs tell me to lie to my machine before, lol. But I wouldn't expect to experience the same problem again! If this isn't a rare occurrence then yeah, it's unacceptable.

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The CHS algorithm is as complicated as Spam detection algorithms. It'll never be perfect, so as long as way to handle the exceptions isn't too negative an experience, too much of a hassle, then it's a matter of finding the balance between benefits and drawbacks.

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9 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

The CHS algorithm is as complicated as Spam detection algorithms. It'll never be perfect, so as long as way to handle the exceptions isn't too negative an experience, too much of a hassle, then it's a matter of finding the balance between benefits and drawbacks.

Indeed. There are two things I'd like to see. First, a documented way of reporting a false positive, so that the CHS can be reset without needing an armchair OM and the algorithm-tweakers can get feedback. Second, something in the email to say why it thought the cache needed maintenance. If, as thebruce0 suggested, a single DNF alone won't lower the CHS, something else must have, something that's not in any way apparent from the cache logs. How can the CO fix the problem if they don't know what it is?

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13 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

If, as thebruce0 suggested, a single DNF alone won't lower the CHS, something else must have, something that's not in any way apparent from the cache logs. How can the CO fix the problem if they don't know what it is?

I think they understand that telling people what's wrong specifically would be problematic - first because details can be subjective, second because that would give away the algorithm and have people start gaming the system, and third most any issue can be cleaned up in every way with an actual owner checkup. So if the downside is some couch-OMs which in most cases themselves would be harmless and accurate, and the vast majority of the rest are actual issues that are fixed by an owner checkup, then all that's left are unmaintained caches that get moved along to reviewer action, and a small fraction of incorrectly handled caches with some annoyed COs who can't handle a simple quick fix and who won't check on their cache in any way. In those cases the listing would still go to reviewer action and they'd decide whether it's prudent to take action or not.  It'll always end up with a human element.

In short, the answer we get is: Check on the cache, and post an OM log once it's fixed; or archive the listing.  If you post the OM without checking on it, then if there is a problem which the CO ignores then it will come back and ultimately may turn over to reviewer action anyway.  The problem is that people don't know they can ignore the email if they thinks it's wrong (or couch-log the OM) because the wording implies that doing something or archival are the only options.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Sorry, but I can't let this go unchallenged. On a D2/T5 cache:

10 Nov 2016 Published
19 Nov 2016 WN from someone wondering if there were any takers
20 Nov 2016 Found it FTF
25 Dec 2016 DNF - search affected by muggles
30 Dec 2016 CHS email received

Care to suggest what the "context" was in this instance?

Careless suggestion ;)

CHS system also knows how many geocaches were recently at the GZ using the official mobile app and not posting any Finds for some reason.

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7 minutes ago, arisoft said:
4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Sorry, but I can't let this go unchallenged. On a D2/T5 cache:

10 Nov 2016 Published
19 Nov 2016 WN from someone wondering if there were any takers
20 Nov 2016 Found it FTF
25 Dec 2016 DNF - search affected by muggles
30 Dec 2016 CHS email received

Care to suggest what the "context" was in this instance?

Careless suggestion ;)

CHS system also knows how many geocaches were recently at the GZ using the official mobile app and not posting any Finds for some reason.

Given that it's a D2/T5 multi, I really can't imagine anyone going through all the waypoints (close to half a day's hiking just for that) then paddling the 3km out to GZ and back, doing something with their phone that makes the CHS think they visited the site and then not logging anything. And even if they did, how is the CO meant to figure that out as a problem from the cache logs?

T5 multis don't get many visitors at the best of times, let alone ones who don't log anything after going to all the trouble of getting there.

My suspicion, and it's only that, is that the CHS is (or was) looking at the ratio of DNFs to Finds and couldn't (perhaps still can't) cope with a cache only getting one find in its first seven weeks of life. In its eyes, probably everything's a P&G in a big city that'd be expected to get many tens or hundreds of finds by then. A year on, this cache has still only had 3 finds and will be lucky to ever crack 5.

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34 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

it's a D2/T5 multi ... all the waypoints (close to half a day's hiking just for that) then paddling the 3km out to GZ and back ... 

A year on, this cache has still only had 3 finds and will be lucky to ever crack 5.

Aramiss, my wife and teammate saw this description and feels a personal challenge has been issued :-)

where is this cache? Lol

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8 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:
39 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

it's a D2/T5 multi ... all the waypoints (close to half a day's hiking just for that) then paddling the 3km out to GZ and back ... 

A year on, this cache has still only had 3 finds and will be lucky to ever crack 5.

Aramiss, my wife and teammate saw this description and feels a personal challenge has been issued :-)

where is this cache? Lol

GC6WPQ5 on Waterfall Bay near Woy Woy, Australia. Come on over, the water's nice at this time of year!

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27 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

GC6WPQ5 on Waterfall Bay near Woy Woy, Australia. Come on over, the water's nice at this time of year!

App says this one is FAR miles away. Might be a bit til we find ourselves down that way ... beautiful area tho. love the Dangerous Animals attribute. Crocs and vipers of some sort, we assume?

cache description mentions it's one in a series at lesser known waterfalls, so I'm betting you have a number of caches that would generate the same patterns (infrequent visits, etc.) but this is the only one that ran afowl of the CHS? 

Edited by Doc_musketeers

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6 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Might be a bit til we find ourselves down that way ... beautiful area tho. love the Dangerous Animals attribute. Crocs and vipers of some sort, we assume?

cache description mentions it's one in a series at lesser known waterfalls, so I'm betting you have a number of caches that would generate the same patterns (infrequent visits, etc.) but this is the only one that ran afowl of the CHS? 

Snakes mainly, on the land part, but I guess sharks and jellyfish in the bay are also a possibility.

On the cache page is a bookmark list for the others in the series. They either have no DNFs or, for the ones that have, I guess there were enough preceding finds (2 in each case) to deflect the gaze of the CHS. I see the last one in the series has still only had 2 finds (no DNFs) in the year it's been out there, so it might soon be pinged for insufficient finds - not sure what the CO is meant to do to remedy that!

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14 hours ago, niraD said:

It's hard to care about the millions and millions of caches that are being monitored without incident, when the caches that you are most interested in seem to be particularly subject to false positives. Some geocachers are particularly drawn to the uncommon geocaches that you like to dismiss as an irrelevant edge case.

The system really needs to handle false positives better.

And from what I've seen, or haven't seen,  it seems to be doing just that.    I know I've said this before but in the sprit of unity I'll say it again.   I sympathize with the hand full of individuals who have been effected by false positives as well as the owners who have caches that "could" be effected by the CHS. 

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."  

Sorry to re-hash this but there seems to be people unaware of CHS and previous discussion about it.

The CHS is only a tool used by reviewers to identify caches that may be in need of attention by a cache owner.   It's the reviewer that interprets that information and decided if action needs to be taken.    The issue here is that high difficulty and high terrain cache owners are unable or unwilling to respond to issues deemed relevant by their reviewer.   That or they're  unwilling to address the issue with their reviewer in an attempt to resolve the problem without having to visit the cache site. 

As annoying as "the e-mail reminder" seems it's only a computer generated heads up that there could be an issue.   Although it's not a call to action, action should be taken in the form of a dialogue between the cache owner and a reviewer to hash out a plan of maintenance for these particular caches.  I could also be resolved by simply checking up on your cache and posting an owners maintenance log.    

It's not hard to understand that the CHS was implemented to help reviewers deal with the vast number of caches out there.  It's crazy to think that it will function flawlessly.  

The problem is with the people who are flipping out because they received a computer generated e-mail indicating there MAY be an issue with a cache.   Now if a reviewer follows up and, after reviewing the cache history, decides the cache dose indeed need to be checked,  then what?    The argument will change from a flawed CHS system to an unreasonable reviewer to a cacher who posted the wrong log and so on and so on.   When dose the fact that owning a cache = work and commitment and, regardless of how inconvenient it may be, there comes a time when a cache needs to be checked up on?        

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14 hours ago, niraD said:

Expecting people to change the way they log to make the CHS work is the wrong approach. The CHS needs to be designed to work with the way people actually log.

To me that's backward thinking.   Why not design the system around the way the logs were intended to be used?  

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14 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

The problem is with the people who are flipping out because they received a computer generated e-mail indicating there MAY be an issue with a cache.   Now if a reviewer follows up and, after reviewing the cache history, decides the cache dose indeed need to be checked,  then what?    The argument will change from a flawed CHS system to an unreasonable reviewer to a cacher who posted the wrong log and so on and so on.   When dose the fact that owning a cache = work and commitment and, regardless of how inconvenient it may be, there comes a time when a cache needs to be checked up on? 

Except that it's not limited to "a cache".  A cache owner is probably not going to "flip out" because of "a cache". However, some cache owners prefer to put in a little more effort than average by creating more difficult (and often creative) hides, or will place caches further away from a parking spot (thus requiring a greater effort to maintain) and may have 10, 20, or more caches like that.  Those are caches that are more likely going to get a DNF and are probably more likely to have a false positive.  While a cache owner might not "flip out" they may also be much less inclined to create caches with a little more creativity or require actually walking more than a couple hundred feet from a parking space.  The simplest way to avoid getting DNFs on a cache is to make them extremely easy to find and even perhaps "allow community maintenance" (aka throwdowns).  Maybe, it's just me but I'd prefer to encourage that creative cache hider than  see every cache an easy find.

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12 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Except that it's not limited to "a cache".  A cache owner is probably not going to "flip out" because of "a cache". However, some cache owners prefer to put in a little more effort than average by creating more difficult (and often creative) hides, or will place caches further away from a parking spot (thus requiring a greater effort to maintain) and may have 10, 20, or more caches like that.  Those are caches that are more likely going to get a DNF and are probably more likely to have a false positive.  While a cache owner might not "flip out" they may also be much less inclined to create caches with a little more creativity or require actually walking more than a couple hundred feet from a parking space.  The simplest way to avoid getting DNFs on a cache is to make them extremely easy to find and even perhaps "allow community maintenance" (aka throwdowns).  Maybe, it's just me but I'd prefer to encourage that creative cache hider than  see every cache an easy find.

My friend, your preaching to the choir.  Just about all of my caches are custom and most of them aren't around the corner from the parking area.   I've had to replace pieces and parts from time to time.   I almost always post a note explaining the time required to get that particular cache back up and running.   My reviewer is also aware of the types of caches I have and understands that in some cases it will take more than the usual time to resolve.    My point is I fully understood that by hiding these type of caches it meant a greater commitment on my part.  I was willing to put in the extra effort because they were the caches I wanted to hide. 

There is no reason not to log dnfs as long as,  with any log,  you use them correctly.  Anyone who uses the CHS to discourage people from posting dnfs  just doesn't get it or is unwilling to admit an obvious truth.         

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51 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

some cache owners prefer to put in a little more effort than average by creating more difficult (and often creative) hides, or will place caches further away from a parking spot (thus requiring a greater effort to maintain) and may have 10, 20, or more caches like that.  Those are caches that are more likely going to get a DNF and are probably more likely to have a false positive.

To me this seems like a gross simplification or understatement. For one, it's mentioned quite often that one solution is to bump the difficulty. If it's getting that many DNFs and causing a notification, then a] the cache is more difficult on average than the owner thinks or b] the algorithm can be tweaked to reduce similar false flags.  ie, the algorithm is either right or wrong. And there are actions to take in both cases, both working towards a better system. Secondly, I have many hides, most of which are not P&G's, and not once have I received an email yet, including on some that are rarely found or have had DNFs. So that either means a] I'm doing something right or b] the algorithm is flawed. I prefer to think it's a], but I do indeed wonder why in some cases someone else gets an email and I don't.  In any case, it's certainly not a matter of "placing caches further away from a parking spot" that has a better chance of getting the email.  I encourage COs who get these to look past the surface details of the caches in question. It's definitely not that simple.

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9 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

To me this seems like a gross simplification or understatement. For one, it's mentioned quite often that one solution is to bump the difficulty. If it's getting that many DNFs and causing a notification, then a] the cache is more difficult on average than the owner thinks or b] the algorithm can be tweaked to reduce similar false flags.  ie, the algorithm is either right or wrong. And there are actions to take in both cases, both working towards a better system. Secondly, I have many hides, most of which are not P&G's, and not once have I received an email yet, including on some that are rarely found or have had DNFs. So that either means a] I'm doing something right or b] the algorithm is flawed. I prefer to think it's a], but I do indeed wonder why in some cases someone else gets an email and I don't.  In any case, it's certainly not a matter of "placing caches further away from a parking spot" that has a better chance of getting the email.  I encourage COs who get these to look past the surface details of the caches in question. It's definitely not that simple.

Picture this.   You own a cache that's 6 miles from the parking area on top of a mountain.   A cacher posts a dnf and indicates that they went about 3 miles and had to turn back.  Two other relatively inexperienced cachers reach gz but couldn't find it and post dnfs.   The CHS sees this cache with three dnfs and flags it.   An automated e-mail is sent out asking the owner to take a look at it.  Remember,  this e-mail is not a call to action, it's only purpose is to bring attention to a possible issue.   At this point the cache owner has a a few options.  The can post a note indicating that they don't' believe there's an issue with the cache and hope a reviewer agrees.   They could contact their reviewer and discuss it or they can ignore it and see what happens.   If the issue isn't resolved with a find in the near future a reviewer is going to have to make a decision on the next steps.   A visit to the cache may be required.    Here is where the issue lies.   We're talking about a 6 mile hike which I'm sure most cache owners would rather avoid.  It's much easier to start blaming the CHS for the situation than it is to lace up your boots and hike to cache.   The prospect of having to replace a "creative" hide somehow trumps the necessity to preform basic cache maintenance. 

This scenario is quite possible and if I remember correctly it's basically the same as the example that's generally referred to in these forums.

What's not discussed is the scores of caches that are not being maintained and have been removed with the help of the CHS.

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19 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 but I do indeed wonder why in some cases someone else gets an email and I don't. ... 

I encourage COs who get these to look past the surface details of the caches in question. It's definitely not that simple.

Barefootjeff's experience exemplifies the problem. If the CHS is flagging your cache for some issue "below the surface" and the CO can't figure out what's wrong with the cache or the d/t ratings, how can this help fix the problem. Again, we are apparently talking about the rare exception. I understand HQ doesn't want to fully explain the algorithm to prevent "gaming the system" or lengthy debates about how they weigh various factors, but if this is supposed to be a "call to action" there has to be a way to know which action to take. It may be as simple as upping D or T, but especially for T rating that may result in misrepresenting the actual cache conditions just to placate a mysterious algorithm. If a CO contacts HQ scratching their head about why their cache was flagged, there should be an answer, either "try fixing this" or "bug in the system."

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20 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

What's not discussed is the scores of caches that are not being maintained and have been removed with the help of the CHS.

Agree with this! I am intrigued with the CHS and can see potential issues from false positives, but again there were a number of floundering caches in my area that apparently went unflagged by the system. There Obviously WERE issues with them because my OP asking how to deal with them without mentioning any names led to Reviewer action on almost all of them. So I'm looking at maybe 5-10 caches slipping by the CHS within 5 minutes of my house. If anything it seems the algorithm is still missing some signs of trouble more often than inventing false issues.

Edited by Doc_musketeers

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23 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Agree with this! I am intrigued with the CHS and can see potential issues from false positives, but again there were a number of floundering caches in my area that apparently went unflagged by the system. There Obviously WERE issues with them because my OP asking how to deal with them without mentioning any names led to Reviewer action on almost all of them. So I'm looking at maybe 5-10 caches slipping by the CHS within 5 minutes of my house. If anything it seems the algorithm is still missing some signs of trouble more often than inventing false issues.

I may be wrong but I don't think it's mandatory for reviewers to use the CHS.  I think it's a tool reviewers can use if they choose to.    It could also be that your reviewer is aware of the troubled caches in your area but has chosen not to flag them for reasons we're not privy to.

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28 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

I may be wrong but I don't think it's mandatory for reviewers to use the CHS.  I think it's a tool reviewers can use if they choose to.    It could also be that your reviewer is aware of the troubled caches in your area but has chosen not to flag them for reasons we're not privy to.

Yeah, I actually edited to add "apparently" for that exact reason. When Nomex posted stating they had done a sweep of the area there was no indication of what led to the actions taken. For all we know it could have been CHS scores. But The fact that most the caches I had in mind were indeed the ones Temporarily Disabled makes me think there weren't any reasons holding the Reviewer from acting. And every indication I have is that our Reviewer is very proactive. When I first posted I didn't know I about the CHS but could see how certain patterns could slip past a Reviewer or even lull a CO into inaction. Really that was my question: how do we politely and correctly call attention to those situations. I'd love to know if the CHS had actually worked in these cases and the CO was just ignoring them (hard to believe that wouldn't have gotten Reviewer attention) or it too had missed the subtle signs.

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Just an added detail to my experience:

The cache had a number of players had noted (in DNFs) as likely to be missing. We posted a  DNF log indicating how thoroughly we had searched. Then a player posted a Found it with a log reading only "Fine" and owner WN "apparently still there." Now even I'd re relieved by a logged find. Why would a CO or the algorithm doubt that?

but by chance that one supposed finder who was only ever active for a two day period posted finds on a number of caches right after us. All of the logs were slightly odd, usually one word like "easy." I was so sure that original cache was missing that I became extremely suspicious. I went back to two of the caches that player had posted as Found- sure enough there was nothing on the paper log to show they'd actually found the cache (I do have a friend who thought all geocaches were basically virtuals. You followed the coordinates. Looked around at anything interesting and claimed a Find.)

so what's the likelihood that the algorithm actually weighs the reliability of the POSTER of logs? All it took in this case was one apparently bogus Find to "reset" the COs concern.

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I just sent a message (second message) to a CO (government agency) about a cache that has not been found since July on Maui. I asked if I should report that cache to Groundspeak so that they could archive it. We'll see if they respond to me or just replace or archive the cache on their own.

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56 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Yeah, I actually edited to add "apparently" for that exact reason. When Nomex posted stating they had done a sweep of the area there was no indication of what led to the actions taken. For all we know it could have been CHS scores. But The fact that most the caches I had in mind were indeed the ones Temporarily Disabled makes me think there weren't any reasons holding the Reviewer from acting. And every indication I have is that our Reviewer is very proactive. When I first posted I didn't know I about the CHS but could see how certain patterns could slip past a Reviewer or even lull a CO into inaction. Really that was my question: how do we politely and correctly call attention to those situations. I'd love to know if the CHS had actually worked in these cases and the CO was just ignoring them (hard to believe that wouldn't have gotten Reviewer attention) or it too had missed the subtle signs.

Our job as cachers is to post the correct logs based on our experience and observations and allow reviewers and cache owners to use that information to decide if further action needs to be taken.    Personal e-mails to cache owners are nice and in some cases helpful but that's going above and beyond and is not required.

It's important to consistently post your logs regardless of the cache or cache owner.  

I found your comment about CO's being lulled into inaction interesting because I do believe that up till recently some cache owners have been doing just that.  The CHS has made it possible for reviewers to identify caches that are in need of attention much faster.   Some cache owners haven't adjusted to the quicker pace yet.   I know it's made me re-think how I handle cache maintenance.      

 

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2 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

.What's not discussed is the scores of caches that are not being maintained and have been removed with the help of the CHS.

I'd guess that many already know that it helps get rid of unmaintained pieces of carp, and it's simply not an issue that needs discussion..

What warrants a discussion is the "rare" ones that get caught up in it as well.   

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