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Doc_musketeers

How to deal with negligent CO

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10 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Exactly! That what I've been saying all along. DNFs are a terrible metric for cache health.

On the other side of the coin, if DNFs are meant to imply some likelihood that the cache is missing, why is that log type even allowed on earthcaches and virtuals?

GS doesn't think so and neither do I although I do think they should be looked at with less of a negative impact on the CHS.   That's what all this tweaking is all about.  

good point on the earth caches and virtuals.    Both shouldn't have a find or a dnf.   What else can you log?  

Edited by justintim1999
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15 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Here's another example for you: GC7B9MJ, one of the new virtuals at the figure-8 rock pools on a tidal shelf. It's only accessible at low tide and with fairly calm seas. So far it's had 3 DNFs from people who went for it but couldn't get out there because there were waves washing over the shelf and making it too dangerous. None of those DNFs could possibly imply that the rock pools were missing. I wonder what the CHS makes of that?

Who knows. If the CO does get a notification by the CHS, we all know the options available to them. Or he can rant about being inconvenienced by an email. Or justifiably contact appeals if the reviewer requires them to visit the cache despite it being quite clear there isn't actually a problem with it (and in the process report the false positive)

 

17 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

You can't change the way people use DNFs. The CHS has to accept that many DNFs don't convey any information about the state of the cache, because that's how the real world works.

Agreed

 

11 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
15 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

If dnfs don't really mean anything than why dose GS incorporate them into the CHS? 

Exactly! That what I've been saying all along. DNFs are a terrible metric for cache health.

You both missed the key question, now that it's come back to DNFs in the CHS - DNFs alone, or DNFs in context of other factors... We don't know.

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9 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

good point on the earth caches and victuals.    Both shouldn't have a find or a dnf.   What else can you log?  

Wow. There just aren't enough windmills to keep you busy, are there?

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

"If you visit a cache location and the cache is missing, make sure to log the cache with a "Didn't find it" ".

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=107&pgid=534

Didn't Find It

Use a “Didn’t Find It” (DNF) log when you look for a cache but do not find it. DNF logs are an important log type — they inform cache owners and other finders that a cache may be extra difficult to find or possibly missing. DNF stands for “Did not find”.

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28 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

if DNFs are meant to imply some likelihood that the cache is missing, why is that log type even allowed on earthcaches and virtuals?

In the case of Virtuals, it's possible that the virtual item could disappear. For example, if the subject of the virtual is an artifact or work of art, it is possible that it could someday be removed, perhaps permanently. So logging a DNF would make sense, if the subject of the virtual goes missing. (Not sure about earthcaches I don't do those). 

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

No that's the conditions you have to meet to log it online.   I'm sorry but I can't log a dnf on a cache I can physically see.  Especially when I know that dnf may be counted negatively.  

You don't seem to realize that when you say, "No that's the conditions you have to meet to log it online," the pronoun "it" refers to "A Find". If you haven't met the conditions to log "A Find", wouldn't that automatically be "A Did Not Find"? I can see you're utterly convinced your interpretation is the only one that makes sense, but to me it makes absolutely no sense to have this empty zone between Found and DNF where you're not supposed to log anything.

1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

I think a dnf has always been exactly what I've explained here.  It's was always intended to be a tool identify caches that were potentially missing.

Thinking that DNF implies anything at all about the state of the cache is a newbie mistake. The core of the CHS debate is that while a DNF might be evidence that a cache is missing, you cannot tell what it indicates until you read the log. The problem with the CHS is that it makes invalid assumptions about what all DNFs mean without caring about what the log says it means.

After all, for the cache that was seen but not retrieved, the seeker's going to start the DNF with something along the lines of "Spotted the cache but...", so the only room for confusion is if you send a robot in and program it not to worry about what the DNF actually says.

3 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

I have a hard time believing that a reviewer would take any action against a cache or cache owner solely based on the CHS.   I choose to believe they would look more closely at the cache before making a decisions.

I have no problem imagining a perfectly reasonable and excellent reviewer mistakenly thinking the CHS is more accurate than it is. They're being told the CHS is a useful tool that they have to start using. They've been told they have to take on a new task they may not have time for. They are all either humans (or dogs) so we can't expect them to be perfect. They run the CHS and it shows them a hundred problem caches. I believe that at least some of them aren't going to take the time to review each and every one of those hundred caches before taking action. And I don't blame them: they have lives, too.

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Just thinking (I know that's dangerous, but...), since its inception there've been at least a dozen or so CHS false positives reported in the forums, most on fairly recent higher D/T caches with just one, two or three DNFs and no other indications of problems. But only a tiny fraction of cachers use these forums, maybe one in a thousand? I know I could count the number of Australians here on one hand. So, extrapolating from that, there must have been at least tens of thousands of false positives globally, probably more as in many (most?) cases the CO would probably just do a quick check on the cache and post an OM saying there was nothing wrong with it - I would've done that if mine hadn't been a T5 which wasn't easily accessible for me at the time, instead I confirmed with the DNFer that she'd been looking in the wrong place.

With no official way to report a false positive that'll get through to the hamsters in the CHS engine room, I doubt HQ has much of an idea of how many false positives there really are. The only ones the reviewers will see are those the CO has chosen to ignore and where nothing else has happened (like a subsequent find on a supposedly missing cache) that would raise the health score, or if a puzzled CO has contacted them.

This might not have been much of an issue when it was just a single email, but now there's a widget on the dashboard as a constant reminder of that "missing" cache and, with the CHS having already been used in the virtual rewards selection process, the high likelihood that HQ will find more uses for it. They've invested a lot of time and effort into creating it, after all.

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

Didn't Find It

Use a “Didn’t Find It” (DNF) log when you look for a cache but do not find it. DNF logs are an important log type — they inform cache owners and other finders that a cache may be extra difficult to find or possibly missing. DNF stands for “Did not find”.

My interpretation of this is that I'll log a DNF when I set out to find the cache but I'm defeated by either the hide or the terrain. Nothing about whether the cache is missing or not - I know how terrible I am at spotting obvious hides, so it's rare that I'll even think a cache might be missing unless it's something that should be sticking out like a sore thumb, and then I'll log a "cache might be missing" NM as well if nobody else has.

Edited by barefootjeff
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26 minutes ago, dprovan said:

You don't seem to realize that when you say, "No that's the conditions you have to meet to log it online," the pronoun "it" refers to "A Find". If you haven't met the conditions to log "A Find", wouldn't that automatically be "A Did Not Find"? I can see you're utterly convinced your interpretation is the only one that makes sense, but to me it makes absolutely no sense to have this empty zone between Found and DNF where you're not supposed to log anything.

As there are different ways to interpret difficulty and terrain ratings there is also differences to interpret "Found It" and "Didn't Find It". The definition for "Found It" contains signed logbook, but in many cases the logbook is signed by an another player and also also using different username. For example "Alice" and "Bob" may sign briefly "TeamAB" when only Alice is signing the log and Bob is waiting her in a car. Actually Bob should post "Didn't Find It" and only Alice should post "Find It", but things never goes that way, you know.

In contrast to the previous example the "Didn't Find It" is even more difficult to interpret coherently. Many players just don't collect them to fill their DNF D/T-matrix, streaks and calendars and just skip posting "Didn't Find It" because it has no interest in them. For some other players it is important to post "Didn't Find It" for every possible case where it is applicapple and they also may share their experience by writing a log explaing what problems they faced during the search. And between those two, there are some players who post a "Write note" when they are not sure how to interpret the situation. For example when something prevented accessing or signing the logbook. This is one way to fill the empty zone between "Find It" and "Didn't Find It".

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21 minutes ago, arisoft said:

As there are different ways to interpret difficulty and terrain ratings there is also differences to interpret "Found It" and "Didn't Find It". The definition for "Found It" contains signed logbook, but in many cases the logbook is signed by an another player and also also using different username. For example "Alice" and "Bob" may sign briefly "TeamAB" when only Alice is signing the log and Bob is waiting her in a car. Actually Bob should post "Didn't Find It" and only Alice should post "Find It", but things never goes that way, you know.

In contrast to the previous example the "Didn't Find It" is even more difficult to interpret coherently. Many players just don't collect them to fill their DNF D/T-matrix, streaks and calendars and just skip posting "Didn't Find It" because it has no interest in them. For some other players it is important to post "Didn't Find It" for every possible case where it is applicapple and they also may share their experience by writing a log explaing what problems they faced during the search. And between those two, there are some players who post a "Write note" when they are not sure how to interpret the situation. For example when something prevented accessing or signing the logbook. This is one way to fill the empty zone between "Find It" and "Didn't Find It".

Exactly. The CHS ought to be treating a DNF from justintim1999 quite differently to one from me - his ones probably give a strong hint that the cache might be missing but mine definitely don't. There are also regional differences; around here most people log DNFs similarly to me, hence all the "too many mosquitoes" or "didn't want to get wet feet" DNFs I get on my hides, whereas I imagine, particularly in urban areas with lots of P&Gs where either a cache is found or it's probably missing, DNFs are much more likely to indicate a  problem.

But the CHS doesn't know any of this, all it can do is count logs and look at the D/T rating. But even that's dubious - a D4 cache here might be quite different in terms of DNF rate to one elsewhere. Does it just say a D4 or a T4 can have x percentage of DNF logs? There's so much variability in higher D/T caches that one-size-fits-all ends up being one-size-fits-none.

A DNF on an LPC probably means it's missing, but a DNF on a T4.5 25km hike to a remote cave on a mountain, well, if it's in a place that muggles never visit it's not likely to ever go missing but there are heaps of reasons why someone mightn't get to the point where they can sign the log. And it won't have many visits anyway so statistical probabilities are meaningless.

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15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I got a DNF just last week saying the ground between the road and GZ was too wet due to the king tides and recent storms and he didn't want to get his fevet wet. Is that now a fake DNF? Should I delete it?

This is an interesting use case.   I think it's absolutely a valid DNF log.  It indicates that they "Did Not Find" the cache due to some temporary factor and tells other potential seekers they might have  the same "Did not Find" experience if they attempt the cache when there is a king tide.  To the CHS it's just a DNF and lowers the score and short of building a dike, there isn't anything the CO can do about the reason for the DNF.  

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if DNFs are meant to imply some likelihood that the cache is missing

To me, DNFs imply that there is some likelihood that someone else searching for the cache won't find it either.  

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13 hours ago, arisoft said:

As there are different ways to interpret difficulty and terrain ratings there is also differences to interpret "Found It" and "Didn't Find It". The definition for "Found It" contains signed logbook, but in many cases the logbook is signed by an another player and also also using different username. For example "Alice" and "Bob" may sign briefly "TeamAB" when only Alice is signing the log and Bob is waiting her in a car. Actually Bob should post "Didn't Find It" and only Alice should post "Find It", but things never goes that way, you know.

In contrast to the previous example the "Didn't Find It" is even more difficult to interpret coherently. Many players just don't collect them to fill their DNF D/T-matrix, streaks and calendars and just skip posting "Didn't Find It" because it has no interest in them. For some other players it is important to post "Didn't Find It" for every possible case where it is applicapple and they also may share their experience by writing a log explaing what problems they faced during the search. And between those two, there are some players who post a "Write note" when they are not sure how to interpret the situation. For example when something prevented accessing or signing the logbook. This is one way to fill the empty zone between "Find It" and "Didn't Find It".

For me it's very easy to interpret how each log is suppose to work.  Keep in mind that these are all based on logging online.

Find = Found the container and signed the log

DNF = Reached gz and searched but couldn't find the cache

NM =  The cache is in need of the owners attention

Note = Anything I'd like to say that the other logs don't cover.

NA =  Requesting the cache be removed from the listing.

I think the only difference in opinion here is in regards to the dnf.  I believe that multiple dnfs have always been used as a red flag that there could be an issue with the cache.   It's doesn't have to mean there is but it is an indicator.    Before the CHS,  reviewers would look at the condition of caches and determine whether or not multiple dnfs required the cache owners involvement.   Nothing has changed except now the CHS is automatically flagging these caches for the reviewer.   This adds up to more potential problem caches for reviewers to review.   The automated e-mail is an attempt to get the owner involved and get the possible issue resolved without wasted reviewer time.   Makes sense right?   If the automated e-mail results in half the issues getting resolved than it means more time for reviewers to focus on bigger problems.

If you know that posting a dnf,  for any other reason other than having reached gz and actually searching,  can potentially have a negative effect on a cache then why wouldn't you change how you use them?  

Its obvious that the high difficulty and high terrain caches are seeing more false positives and I have to believe that adjustments to the CHS are being made to address that.   Over all I think they system works well and ultimately it will result in a better, healthier  geocaching. 

I'm curious to know if anyone who's experienced a false positive has spoken to their reviewer.  I'd be interested in the context of that conversation.

In the end it all comes down to two things.  Using the logs consistently and correctly and owners maintenance expectations. 

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15 hours ago, dprovan said:

it makes absolutely no sense to have this empty zone between Found and DNF where you're not supposed to log anything.

Note.

I mentioned how I'd handle "saw but not signed", but I also dono't presume everyone logs my way. I'm not hardline on what DNF means, but I can certainly understand not logging a DNF if you see the cache (have found it) but haven't signed it. That limbo, to me, is best served as a note -- as in, I didn't complete my task to sign the sheet; my search is incomplete, I'm likely coming back later. I didn't not find it, but I didn't sign it for the online log.

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15 hours ago, dprovan said:

The problem with the CHS is that it makes invalid assumptions about what all DNFs mean without caring about what the log says it means.

I think this the core of the issue with DNFs. They're used for a variety of reasons. BUT, that's why it's always been reasoned as "might be missing". GS knows that DNFs don't mean a cache is missing, but taken within certain greater contexts, DNFs more often than not indicate that there is a problem to be looked at. And with peopl (theoretically) not logging NM as often as optimal, the CHS was implemented to help identify potential problem caches to pick up the slack.

 

15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

Just thinking (I know that's dangerous, but...), since its inception there've been at least a dozen or so CHS false positives reported in the forums, most on fairly recent higher D/T caches with just one, two or three DNFs and no other indications of problems. But only a tiny fraction of cachers use these forums, maybe one in a thousand? I know I could count the number of Australians here on one hand. So, extrapolating from that, there must have been at least tens of thousands of false positives globally,

Well, consider also that the those vehemently opposed are also searching out false positives, so I wouldn't be bumping that ratio too much worldwide. Additionally, you have no metric for how many true positives and beneficially resolved situations have been dealt with, so even if it were 10's of thousands worldwide, there could be many hundreds of thousands of good instances. You know that 58% of stats are made up, right?

 

15 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

With no official way to report a false positive that'll get through to the hamsters in the CHS engine room, I doubt HQ has much of an idea of how many false positives there really are.

Well here's another problem. I was going to say the forum is a great resource - free reporting and proxy reporting of what people feel are false positives. Unfortunately most of the time those devolve into debates about the problems and whether there actually is a problem, but with zero feedback (justifiably) from HQ. Still the best way to report what you feel is a false positive is to write the reviewer, or write HQ - without expecting an explanation in return.

 

 

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14 hours ago, arisoft said:

As there are different ways to interpret difficulty and terrain ratings there is also differences to interpret "Found It" and "Didn't Find It". The definition for "Found It" contains signed logbook, but in many cases the logbook is signed by an another player and also also using different username. For example "Alice" and "Bob" may sign briefly "TeamAB" when only Alice is signing the log and Bob is waiting her in a car. Actually Bob should post "Didn't Find It" and only Alice should post "Find It", but things never goes that way, you know.

Technically the Found It is defined (and enforceable): Name is in the logbook under which you cached. Yours, or your group or team name.
Yep, that can be abused, if say someone goes around signing friends in and they all log them found. But as it's a rare exception, if that issue is brought to attention it can be dealt with as a problem cacher(s).  The general rule still applies, and the Found It does have a strict definition. The DNF notsomuch. There's very little that can be used as reason to invalidate (remove) a DNF log, likely apart from plain old abuse of the system.  A DNF is a vague log which implies a fairly general status, and assuming a strict definition will be problematic for anyone (as we see in this thread).

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I have to admit I haven't read each and every word of the the posts in the last 24 hours so forgive me if this was already discussed. DNF's can and should have more than one use. Sure, they could indicate a problem. But they are also just part of our honor-based scorecard (yes, I do know COs can delete suspicious Finds, but in practice how often do we run to our cache and check off each name against the online log?). When I am defeated by a challenging hide I admit it by posting a DNF explaining what thwarted me and promising to return. The sad purple face reminds me of that promise and to reread my previous post so I don't make the same mistakes again. I expect and appreciate the same on my own hides. If the CHS dings us for using them this way, it should be adjusted. As has been said, there is a very clear NM type just for the scenario where a cacher suspects a missing cache. 

Also, doesn't the CHS look at "popularity" as well? A DNF is still a visit! I see fewer log on my slightly more difficult caches that are easily reached, right in a high traffic area then I do on a couple easier finds that are in areas I know get less traffic. I wonder how many unsuccessful attempts don't get logged? Personally I'd like to at least see the DNFs to know my choice of location and method of hide attracted some attention. If that also attracts a Reviewer's attention, I'd prefer it for this reason rather than in answer to the question "what happens if I hide a cache and nobody comes?"

Edited by Doc_musketeers

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29 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

I have to admit I haven't read each and every word of the the posts in the last 24 hours so forgive me if this was already discussed. DNF's can and should have more than one use. Sure, they could indicate a problem. But they are also just part of our honor-based scorecard (yes, I do know COs can delete suspicious Finds, but in practice how often do we run to our cache and check off each name against the online log?). When I am defeated by a challenging hide I admit it by posting a DNF explaining what thwarted me and promising to return. The sad purple face reminds me of that promise and to reread my previous post so I don't make the same mistakes again. I expect and appreciate the same on my own hides. If the CHS dings us for using them this way, it should be adjusted. As has been said, there is a very clear NM type just for the scenario where a cacher suspects a missing cache. 

Also, doesn't the CHS look at "popularity" as well? A DNF is still a visit! I see fewer log on my slightly more difficult caches that are easily reached, right in a high traffic area then I do on a couple easier finds that are in areas I know get less traffic. I wonder how many unsuccessful attempts don't get logged? Personally I'd like to at least see the DNFs to know my choice of location and method of hide attracted some attention. If that also attracts a Reviewer's attention, I'd prefer it for this reason rather than in answer to the question "what happens if I hide a cache and nobody comes?"

Including another log type to be used to indicate caches you've attempted but for whatever reason weren't able to preform an actual  search on is  something to consider.  I know seeing a dnf on a map is useful but maybe there could be another icon for that.  

To be honest I can't think of many caches I've started out to find and didn't reach gz and searched.  

I know when I start a multi and can't finish it in the same day I don't post a dnf.  It's usually a note indicating I started it and I'll be back to finish later.   The same goes for puzzle caches.

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18 hours ago, dprovan said:

You don't seem to realize that when you say, "No that's the conditions you have to meet to log it online," the pronoun "it" refers to "A Find". If you haven't met the conditions to log "A Find", wouldn't that automatically be "A Did Not Find"? I can see you're utterly convinced your interpretation is the only one that makes sense, but to me it makes absolutely no sense to have this empty zone between Found and DNF where you're not supposed to log anything.

Thinking that DNF implies anything at all about the state of the cache is a newbie mistake. The core of the CHS debate is that while a DNF might be evidence that a cache is missing, you cannot tell what it indicates until you read the log. The problem with the CHS is that it makes invalid assumptions about what all DNFs mean without caring about what the log says it means.

After all, for the cache that was seen but not retrieved, the seeker's going to start the DNF with something along the lines of "Spotted the cache but...", so the only room for confusion is if you send a robot in and program it not to worry about what the DNF actually says.

I have no problem imagining a perfectly reasonable and excellent reviewer mistakenly thinking the CHS is more accurate than it is. They're being told the CHS is a useful tool that they have to start using. They've been told they have to take on a new task they may not have time for. They are all either humans (or dogs) so we can't expect them to be perfect. They run the CHS and it shows them a hundred problem caches. I believe that at least some of them aren't going to take the time to review each and every one of those hundred caches before taking action. And I don't blame them: they have lives, too.

There are many reasons why someone doesn't find a cache.  Some of them have nothing to do with the condition of the cache.   Problem is that dnfs count negatively against the CHS.   You can argue whether they should or shouldn't but the fact is they do.  My position is if you know that than consider only posting one if you've actually searched for the cache. 

What I don't understand is why you think reviewers are solely relying on the CHS.   All it dose is identify caches that meet a certain criteria.    Now I have no idea if that criteria is fixed or can be set by the reviewer based on their individual definitions.    Either way the issue has nothing to do with the CHS.  If you have an issue here is with your local reviewer and their interpretation of the information.

Obviously multiple dnfs are one of those criteria but it's still the reviewer who has to decide if those particular dnfs indicate a bigger problem.   If you receive the reminder e-mail asking you to take a look at your listing than do that.  If you feel that there's no reason to check up on the cache than ignore the e-mail.   If your cache gets disabled by a reviewer than obviously they thought that some response was warranted and you'll have to take up the issue with them.    

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

I know when I start a multi and can't finish it in the same day I don't post a dnf.  It's usually a note indicating I started it and I'll be back to finish later.   The same goes for puzzle caches.

When I've visited one or more waypoints, but planned not to complete the entire cache that trip, then I've posted a Note explaining what I accomplished, and that I planned to return to complete the cache in the future.

But if I planned to complete the cache, then I'd log a DNF if for some reason I could complete only part of it.

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Yes, if I feel my search was complete, and either I was thwarted or found and signed the cache, then I'd log a DNF or Find. If I feel that my effort was incomplete by my own choice, not by a cache-related factor (spotted but not retrieved because I didn't take the right tool, stream not crossed for lack of proper footware I own, construction blocking my route to the vicinity, etc) then I'd log a note and that I'll return to complete the task. Not a DNF.  Combo lock on a container that I can't solve? Possibly a DNF. No cache at gz, or unable to spot the cache at gz? DNF.  There's a lot of subjective judgement put into whether I think a DNF or note is appropriate, but for the most part it's cut and dry.

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26 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Yes, if I feel my search was complete, and either I was thwarted or found and signed the cache, then I'd log a DNF or Find. If I feel that my effort was incomplete by my own choice, not by a cache-related factor (spotted but not retrieved because I didn't take the right tool, stream not crossed for lack of proper footware I own, construction blocking my route to the vicinity, etc) then I'd log a note and that I'll return to complete the task. Not a DNF.  Combo lock on a container that I can't solve? Possibly a DNF. No cache at gz, or unable to spot the cache at gz? DNF.  There's a lot of subjective judgement put into whether I think a DNF or note is appropriate, but for the most part it's cut and dry.

I'd  handle those situations in exactly the same way.  I can understand why most would log a dnf in all those situations.  It's the way we've been doing it since we started caching.  Post a find if you've found it, for everything else post a dnf.   Even before the CHS this approach had it's drawbacks.   This is strictly personal but I know I've checked up on caches that were dnfed only to find out later that two of the three never involved an actual search.  The one legitimate dnf was by a new cacher with 26 finds.   It wasn't really a big deal but I did waste a couple of hours I could have spent on other things.

Tell me you understand the reasoning behind what I'm saying and than tell me to take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut.   Just don't ignore the obvious to hide the fact that you simply don't want to change the way you cache.  I still may not agree but I can at least respect that.

  

Edited by justintim1999
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12 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

Tell me you understand the reasoning behind what I'm saying and than tell me to take a flying leap at a rolling doughnut.   Just don't ignore the obvious to hide the fact that you simply don't want to change the way you cache.  I still may not agree but I can at least respect that.

I know "you" is generic, but I haven't said you should change your ways. But your implication in previous comments has been that "this is what DNF means and therefore everyone not abiding by that definition is doing it wrong". Or in other words, you are telling people to change the way they cache.

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6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

I know "you" is generic, but I haven't said you should change your ways. But your implication in previous comments has been that "this is what DNF means and therefore everyone not abiding by that definition is doing it wrong". Or in other words, you are telling people to change the way they cache.

If I didn't think it was the right way I wouldn't be here debating it.   Of course I'd like everyone to see it my way and I've laid out the reasons why.   My issue is with people who understand that posting a dnf without actually reaching gz and searching could have a negative effect on someone's cache.   If they're ok with that than nothing I say is going to change their minds.   

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3 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

 

To be honest I can't think of many caches I've started out to find and didn't reach gz and searched.  

I know when I start a multi and can't finish it in the same day I don't post a dnf.  It's usually a note indicating I started it and I'll be back to finish later.   The same goes for puzzle caches.

Oh, I wouldn't post a DNF without searching GZ. If something (construction, flooding,etc) prevented me from reaching GZ I'd probably post a WN just to alert other searchers and the CO to current conditions. If I'm working on a multi and run out of time before reaching GZ at the final I wouldn't post a DNF. But If I searched thoroughly for one of the stages with no success, preventing me from continuing, I might consider a DNF. We make lists of caches by location, so we just keep solved puzzle caches (with corrected coordinates) on the applicable list. I'd only log a DNF if I failed to find the physical cache. I can't imagine using a DNF to record solving the puzzle but not yet leaving my armchair to search for it.

"Attempted" to me means followed my GPSr to GZ and searched diligently, analyzing any clues supplied and previous logs if needed. If I don't feel that continuing my search is likely to change anything, that's a DNF. Perhaps future experience or a log on the cache will open up other search possibilities, but not today. If my teammates are about done for the day and we tried squeezing in one last cache and I don't feel we've exhausted search potentials, and are likely to return on an upcoming caching session, that's not a DNF. 

 

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5 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

I think the only difference in opinion here is in regards to the dnf.  I believe that multiple dnfs have always been used as a red flag that there could be an issue with the cache.   It's doesn't have to mean there is but it is an indicator.    Before the CHS,  reviewers would look at the condition of caches and determine whether or not multiple dnfs required the cache owners involvement.   Nothing has changed except now the CHS is automatically flagging these caches for the reviewer.   This adds up to more potential problem caches for reviewers to review.   The automated e-mail is an attempt to get the owner involved and get the possible issue resolved without wasted reviewer time.   Makes sense right?   If the automated e-mail results in half the issues getting resolved than it means more time for reviewers to focus on bigger problems.

You still seem stuck in the mindset that all caches are D1.5 or less. A more difficult cache is expected to get multiple DNFs - if it doesn't, it probably needs its D-rating lowered (and I'm talking here about those where the D-rating relates to the hide, not puzzle-solving). Take the D5 tower example I mentioned yesterday. Can you visualise how big a 40 metre tower is? That's about 130 feet in your language if that helps. Somewhere on that tower, reachable from the steps, is a magnetic micro. Of course it's going to get multiple DNFs, the surprising thing is that anyone finds it at all! That's why we have a different log (the NM) to be used as a red flag that there could be an issue with the cache.

As for the reviewers, before the CHS the ones here never went trawling for caches that might be missing. They did three things - publish new caches, respond to NAs and do occasional sweeps for caches that have been left disabled for too long. That worked fine here because the community cared enough to log NMs and NAs when they thought a cache needed attention from the owner or reviewer respectively. What has changed is that these reviewers now have a heap more work to do, sifting through the DNF logs on caches the CHS has flagged and trying to figure out whether further action is warranted, with no idea of how the cache is concealed at GZ or what the conditions around there are like that might make it harder to find. I wouldn't be surprised if they just take the easy way out and TD anything the CHS flags, leaving it to the CO to sort out. I probably would if I was a reviewer with an already heavy workload and had this thrust on me as well.

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5 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

I think this the core of the issue with DNFs. They're used for a variety of reasons. BUT, that's why it's always been reasoned as "might be missing". GS knows that DNFs don't mean a cache is missing, but taken within certain greater contexts, DNFs more often than not indicate that there is a problem to be looked at. And with peopl (theoretically) not logging NM as often as optimal, the CHS was implemented to help identify potential problem caches to pick up the slack.

Really? I've had over 40 DNFs spread across my hides and none of them were due to a problem with the cache. And of the DNFs I've logged, about two-thirds were due to my inability to spot (or reach) the cache - nothing wrong with the cache, just Blind Freddy here couldn't find it. And this is all for relatively easy finds (D2 or less) - for harder ones (D2.5 and higher) the fraction of DNFs that indicate a problem would be much lower, to the point of being vanishingly small on a properly-rated D5.

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28 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

You still seem stuck in the mindset that all caches are D1.5 or less. A more difficult cache is expected to get multiple DNFs - if it doesn't, it probably needs its D-rating lowered (and I'm talking here about those where the D-rating relates to the hide, not puzzle-solving). Take the D5 tower example I mentioned yesterday. Can you visualise how big a 40 metre tower is? That's about 130 feet in your language if that helps. Somewhere on that tower, reachable from the steps, is a magnetic micro. Of course it's going to get multiple DNFs, the surprising thing is that anyone finds it at all! That's why we have a different log (the NM) to be used as a red flag that there could be an issue with the cache.

As for the reviewers, before the CHS the ones here never went trawling for caches that might be missing. They did three things - publish new caches, respond to NAs and do occasional sweeps for caches that have been left disabled for too long. That worked fine here because the community cared enough to log NMs and NAs when they thought a cache needed attention from the owner or reviewer respectively. What has changed is that these reviewers now have a heap more work to do, sifting through the DNF logs on caches the CHS has flagged and trying to figure out whether further action is warranted, with no idea of how the cache is concealed at GZ or what the conditions around there are like that might make it harder to find. I wouldn't be surprised if they just take the easy way out and TD anything the CHS flags, leaving it to the CO to sort out. I probably would if I was a reviewer with an already heavy workload and had this thrust on me as well.

I'd guess that most caches in the world today are D3's or less which are the caches I'd guess the GS was designed to handle.

I can see how the higher difficulty caches would be hard for the CHS to handle.  I have a hard time believing that a reviewer would TD a cache without first looking it over.   Maybe I'm naïve in that regard.   How many dnfs dose it take before someone thinks "hey there may be something wrong with this cache?"  The world may never know.

Cachers posting logs is still what drives this whole thing.  Without those the CHS would have nothing to analyze.  I'm just trying to get people to think about why they're posting that log and making sure the log they do post conveys the information they want to relay.    

 

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

Cachers posting logs is still what drives this whole thing.  Without those the CHS would have nothing to analyze.  I'm just trying to get people to think about why they're posting that log and making sure the log they do post conveys the information they want to relay. 

Exactly, that's what I'm saying too, except I reckon a DNF just says "I didn't find it" and if the DNFer wants to convey additional information about the likely state of the cache they should log an NM. For higher D/T caches in particular, there are way too many things that can lead to a DNF to try to infer anything from it beyond what is actually written in the log. I've said all along that I think the CHS should hold off until there's an NM that the CO hasn't responded to, then it can send emails, activate widgets and flag the cache to reviewers to its heart's content. If no-one in the community is prepared to log an NM on a cache everyone knows is missing, perhaps they deserve to have a map full of missing caches.

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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I've had over 40 DNFs spread across my hides and none of them were due to a problem with the cache. And of the DNFs I've logged, about two-thirds were due to my inability to spot (or reach) the cache - nothing wrong with the cache, just Blind Freddy here couldn't find it. And this is all for relatively easy finds (D2 or less) - for harder ones (D2.5 and higher) the fraction of DNFs that indicate a problem would be much lower, to the point of being vanishingly small on a properly-rated D5.

Well that's great? Maybe you should bump the difficulty up.  Even so, likely the algorithm, and especially the reviewers, can know that within the region more DNFs are posted, and it could weigh them less. Who knows. But yes, strings of DNFs, generally speaking, as I said, tend to imply there is a problem with a cache, obviously dependent upon difficulty amongst other factors. This is why the algorithm can be tweaked and improved. So help it.

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7 hours ago, Doc_musketeers said:

 If I'm working on a multi and run out of time before reaching GZ at the final I wouldn't post a DNF. But If I searched thoroughly for one of the stages with no success, preventing me from continuing, I might consider a DNF. 

On the other fin, I have now found the finals to four multi caches without finding the first stage!  On one, the first stage appears to be missing.  Not found in two years (before I found it.)  On one, the following geocacher was unable to find the first stage, and posted that it might be missing.  On one, the next geocacher found the first stage, but it was soaked. 

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1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

On the other fin, I have now found the finals to four multi caches without finding the first stage!  On one, the first stage appears to be missing.  Not found in two years (before I found it.)  On one, the following geocacher was unable to find the first stage, and posted that it might be missing.  On one, the next geocacher found the first stage, but it was soaked. 

Lol. Impressive that you somehow managed to find the other stages. I suppose the initial stages of a multi are generally designed for the sole purpose of leading you to the final. Guess I'd post a Found It but also a NM that some stages appeared missing.

More proof that the meaning of these log types aren't set in stone. I think they make total sense in the context of a well written log. But can an algorithm ever pick up on those nuances? Is that important? As long as the human hand reenters the stream of events before decisive action takes place I guess I'm ok with that tool. A hammer can build or it can tear down or even injure. Lol.

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1 hour ago, Doc_musketeers said:

... More proof that the meaning of these log types aren't set in stone. I think they make total sense in the context of a well written log. But can an algorithm ever pick up on those nuances? Is that important? As long as the human hand (or brain...) reenters the stream of events before decisive action takes place I guess I'm ok with that tool. A hammer can build or it can tear down or even injure. Lol.

My thinking all along - A DNF is too generic without a log to explain WHY it's a DNF.  When I first started geocaching, way back MONTHS ago, I didn't log any DNF's.  I figured I was too new, and I just wasn't finding the caches - and  DNF meant it wasn't there.  Somehow that's the early impression I had.  I realize now that's not true; and I'm wishing I HAD logged those DNF's so I could go try to find them now!!

When I do log a DNF, I'll give a reason why it's a DNF and if I think there is or MAY BE an issue with the cache I'll probably also log a NM or contact the CO if I know who it is.  If there is an OBVIOUS issue I will log an NM, and try to get it fixed or archived.  A DNF needs to be taken and looked at in context; there are too many reasons people log DNF's for it to always mean there's a problem with the cache.  And I would hope other cachers write why they logged the DNF; just posting DNF doesn't tell anyone anything except the poster didn't sign the log.

I tihnk we're getting away from the topic of negligent cache owners though...

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7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Well that's great? Maybe you should bump the difficulty up.  Even so, likely the algorithm, and especially the reviewers, can know that within the region more DNFs are posted, and it could weigh them less. Who knows. But yes, strings of DNFs, generally speaking, as I said, tend to imply there is a problem with a cache, obviously dependent upon difficulty amongst other factors. This is why the algorithm can be tweaked and improved. So help it.

My most DNFed cache is a D2/T3.5 small traditional with 10 DNFs to 40 finds. How many DNFs is a cache of this rating allowed? Where is this documented? What should its rating be?

It's one of those ones that shouldn't be hard, but you can look straight at the hiding place and not realise what it is. Most of the DNFers who've come back for a second attempt slap their foreheads when they realise where it is - the typical response is along the lines of "I'm sure I looked there last time!" Then there are some who find the T3.5 is too much for them and log a DNF because they don't want to do any more clambering. Those that do find it seem to enjoy it, though, with 13 FPs and a nomination in the 2015 regional cache-of-the-year. No-one has ever complained about its D/T rating.

If you want to make sure that "DNFs more often than not indicate that there is a problem to be looked at", maybe we should do away with caches like this and just have D1/T1 P&Gs so everyone gets a smilie.

As for the CHS, how do you help tweak the algorithm? TPTB don't make it easy to report false positives, they just want you to do what it says to do - visit the cache and log an OM even when you know there isn't a problem, in which case no-one will ever know it was a false positive, and if you do try to report it you just get told it's the CO's responsibility to maintain their caches.

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On 12/12/2017 at 4:31 PM, justintim1999 said:
On 12/12/2017 at 4:31 PM, barefootjeff said:

It gets dozens of DNFs. It's meant to be hard to find. Finds are rare, or at least they were until people started giving each other hints. That's why it's a D5. If the CO had to go and check on it after every third DNF he'd wouldn't have time to do any other caching.

Agree,  there are some caches that multiple dnf would mean less against.   I'm talking about the everyday run of the mill cache which make up the bulk of the caches out there.   Typically multiple dnfs indicate a possible issue.

I'd like to see more caches that aren't every day run of the mill caches which make up the bulk of the caches out there and would rather not see features in the system that might discourage cache owners from placing them. 

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13 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Well that's great? Maybe you should bump the difficulty up.  Even so, likely the algorithm, and especially the reviewers, can know that within the region more DNFs are posted, and it could weigh them less. Who knows. But yes, strings of DNFs, generally speaking, as I said, tend to imply there is a problem with a cache, obviously dependent upon difficulty amongst other factors. This is why the algorithm can be tweaked and improved. So help it.

That's it exactly.  It's up to GS to tweak the system in a way that helps reduce the number of false positives.  It's up to us to use the various logs correctly to help the CHS do that.  

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17 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I'd like to see more caches that aren't every day run of the mill caches which make up the bulk of the caches out there and would rather not see features in the system that might discourage cache owners from placing them. 

So would I.   For me the first order of business would be to get control of what's out there right now then start steering things toward promoting those types of hides.

The geocaching app boom was great but is came with a price.

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6 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

My thinking all along - A DNF is too generic without a log to explain WHY it's a DNF.  When I first started geocaching, way back MONTHS ago, I didn't log any DNF's.  I figured I was too new, and I just wasn't finding the caches - and  DNF meant it wasn't there.  Somehow that's the early impression I had.  I realize now that's not true; and I'm wishing I HAD logged those DNF's so I could go try to find them now!!

When I do log a DNF, I'll give a reason why it's a DNF and if I think there is or MAY BE an issue with the cache I'll probably also log a NM or contact the CO if I know who it is.  If there is an OBVIOUS issue I will log an NM, and try to get it fixed or archived.  A DNF needs to be taken and looked at in context; there are too many reasons people log DNF's for it to always mean there's a problem with the cache.  And I would hope other cachers write why they logged the DNF; just posting DNF doesn't tell anyone anything except the poster didn't sign the log.

I tihnk we're getting away from the topic of negligent cache owners though...

That leaves GS with two choices.   The can continually tweak the CHS in an attempt to cover all the ways people choose to use the various logs or we can clearly define how the logs should be used to better help the CHS interpret them.   The first scenario seems feudal to me.  No matter how much tweaking they do there will always be a group of caches that slip through the cracks.  The second, although seemingly an impossible task, would look to me to be a more long term solution. 

The responsibilities of a cache owner are pretty clearly defined by GS.  What's odd to me is that dnfs are mentioned as one of the things that negatively effect the cache score yet under maintenance expectations there's no mention of when and how to deal with them.     It seems that it's been left to the discretion of each cache owner to decide for themselves which is part of the reason we're having this conversation in the first place.  

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

My most DNFed cache is a D2/T3.5 small traditional with 10 DNFs to 40 finds. How many DNFs is a cache of this rating allowed? Where is this documented? What should its rating be?

Who knows. It's ..nebulose... (#TheOffice #sorrynotsorry)

But really, we don't know. It's entirely subjective. To the CO, to the region, to the reviewer, to the algorithm. Do you want with it. Or don't. Everything is adjustable, including the algorithm. And if you keep getting emails, it's up to you to choose to ignore them, adjust your listing, or keep telling TPTB.

 

7 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

As for the CHS, how do you help tweak the algorithm? TPTB don't make it easy to report false positives, they just want you to do what it says to do - visit the cache and log an OM even when you know there isn't a problem, in which case no-one will ever know it was a false positive, and if you do try to report it you just get told it's the CO's responsibility to maintain their caches.

If they say anything else they give away the algorithm. What they say is true - it's the CO's responsibility to maintain their caches. That's not "go out there and maintain your cache or it will be archived". But if someone maintains their cache (needed or not) because of it, that's a good thing. If they do adjust the algorithm, especially if because of repeated instances and reports, then that's a good thing. The only bad thing is "inconvenience", which can be avoided if human reviewers agree, or inevitable if necessary to carrying out the responsibilities of a CO.

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3 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

That leaves GS with two choices.   The can continually tweak the CHS in an attempt to cover all the ways people choose to use the various logs or we can clearly define how the logs should be used to better help the CHS interpret them.   The first scenario seems feudal to me.  No matter how much tweaking they do there will always be a group of caches that slip through the cracks.  The second, although seemingly an impossible task, would look to me to be a more long term solution. 

There are more choices than that. For example, Groundspeak could change the CHS system to better accommodate false positives.

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9 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

I tihnk we're getting away from the topic of negligent cache owners though...

I think we've been down a lot of side roads! But since the real question I meant to ask with my OP was really about trouble caches flying under the radar, we are still addressing the problem. I stated that I regretted that original phrasing not just because it would be offensive if the CO whose caches inspired my concern ever read this thread! I think similar scenarios can happen to generally responsible COs too if there isn't proper feedback. I didn't even know about the CHS when I first posted, but it and its inherent pros and cons are obviously connected. How and when people post certain log types is probably paramount since that's the most direct feedback system.

i also discover a second obvious fraudulent find on one of those original caches. Finder has posted 40 finds ever, in two days. The day they posted on the cache near me and  close to 20 others, they were also supposedly cache hunting hours away... one of their supposed finds came after a note that construction would destroy the hide location and a player had removed the cache! A NA came just after the logged "find."

i bring this up because fake finds are a whole separate issue but also play into creating a false picture of cache health.

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3 hours ago, Doc_musketeers said:

I think we've been down a lot of side roads! But since the real question I meant to ask with my OP was really about trouble caches flying under the radar, we are still addressing the problem. I stated that I regretted that original phrasing not just because it would be offensive if the CO whose caches inspired my concern ever read this thread! I think similar scenarios can happen to generally responsible COs too if there isn't proper feedback. I didn't even know about the CHS when I first posted, but it and its inherent pros and cons are obviously connected. How and when people post certain log types is probably paramount since that's the most direct feedback system.

i also discover a second obvious fraudulent find on one of those original caches. Finder has posted 40 finds ever, in two days. The day they posted on the cache near me and  close to 20 others, they were also supposedly cache hunting hours away... one of their supposed finds came after a note that construction would destroy the hide location and a player had removed the cache! A NA came just after the logged "find."

i bring this up because fake finds are a whole separate issue but also play into creating a false picture of cache health.

Not much the CHS or a reviewer can do about fake finds.   It's up to us to try to identify those and report them if we do.  

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6 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

The responsibilities of a cache owner are pretty clearly defined by GS.  What's odd to me is that dnfs are mentioned as one of the things that negatively effect the cache score yet under maintenance expectations there's no mention of when and how to deal with them.     It seems that it's been left to the discretion of each cache owner to decide for themselves which is part of the reason we're having this conversation in the first place.

Yes, this is something I've wondered about, it's as if the CHS is working from a different set of guidelines to the published ones.

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4 hours ago, Doc_musketeers said:

i bring this up because fake finds are a whole separate issue but also play into creating a false picture of cache health.

One of the problems now is, with the new logging page, the log type defaults to "Found It", resulting in finds being logged where the intent was clearly for it to be a DNF. I've seen a few of them on my hides, but luckily the logger immediately realised their mistake and corrected it. I don't know what was wrong with the old system where you had to actually select a log type before it would allow you to submit the log.

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6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

GS is wedded to the idea that CHS is the Big Solution to a Big Problem

I don't think they think that. I think they think it will, and does, reportedly, help. Solution? Of course not.  Otherwise humans wouldn't still have the final say in any definitive action.

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7 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

That leaves GS with two choices.   The can continually tweak the CHS in an attempt to cover all the ways people choose to use the various logs or we can clearly define how the logs should be used to better help the CHS interpret them.

A third option is to give up on the CHS, but that's obviously not going to happen because GS is wedded to the idea that CHS is the Big Solution to a Big Problem. So a fourth option is to recognize that the CHS is only a tool, not a decision maker. The only reason false positives are a problem is because cacher's see them. If GS stops using the CHS to send automatic warnings and doesn't use it to create this "your cache is bad" list on the profile, then the problem of false positives is reduced to cases where a reviewer takes action against a cache based on the CHS alone without evaluating the cache directly.

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On 12/12/2017 at 3:59 PM, arisoft said:

And between those two, there are some players who post a "Write note" when they are not sure how to interpret the situation. For example when something prevented accessing or signing the logbook. This is one way to fill the empty zone between "Find It" and "Didn't Find It".

People that see this middle ground are interpreting the word "find" in "find log" as being the official GS definition of find, but then they're interpreting the word "find" in "did not find" to be the normal english use of the word which is, of course, completely different. That leaves this middle ground between "find" and "did not find" that is neither A nor not A. I understand what they're thinking and I don't object to the interpretation. But it makes more sense to me to interpret the "find" in "did not find" also as the GS standard meaning, thus making DNF mean precisely that you didn't meet the GS requirement for logging a find, so that would include the case where you saw the cache hanging from a tree but couldn't retrieve it. In English, you found the cache, but in GS terms, you did not find it.

This would be of little importance except that CHS insists that all DNFs are negative.

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7 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

If they say anything else they give away the algorithm. What they say is true - it's the CO's responsibility to maintain their caches. That's not "go out there and maintain your cache or it will be archived". But if someone maintains their cache (needed or not) because of it, that's a good thing. If they do adjust the algorithm, especially if because of repeated instances and reports, then that's a good thing. The only bad thing is "inconvenience", which can be avoided if human reviewers agree, or inevitable if necessary to carrying out the responsibilities of a CO.

It might not be saying "or it will be archived", but it is coming across as "just do what the email says, maintain your caches like you agreed to do and stop bothering us." If they want to improve their algorithm, they need to have a way of getting feedback on its accuracy that doesn't skew the results. Logging an OM when you know there isn't a problem is telling the system it got it right when in fact it didn't.

It all depends on what the CHS is meant to do. If it's just a tool for reviewers, false positives don't matter until they get to the point where the reviewers are annoyed by it. If it's to send a friendly heads-up to an active CO who might have overlooked a problem, then the threat of "further action might be taken if the health score doesn't improve" should be removed and it should provide an easy way to acknowledge false positives. If it's to catch maintenance-shirkers, then it needs to rely on something more objective, like an ignored NM, rather than just second-guessing DNFs, particularly on higher D/T caches which are expected to get a fair (and indeterminate) number of DNFs. And if it's to rank COs for rewards programmes, it really needs to base its judgements on much firmer ground than DNF-counting. As it stands, it looks like they want it to do all these things, with the result that it doesn't do any of them particularly well.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

But it makes more sense to me to interpret the "find" in "did not find" also as the GS standard meaning, thus making DNF mean precisely that you didn't meet the GS requirement for logging a find, so that would include the case where you saw the cache hanging from a tree but couldn't retrieve it. In English, you found the cache, but in GS terms, you did not find it.

This would be of little importance except that CHS insists that all DNFs are negative.

Yep. This is how I take it. If I'm playing basketball and make a shot "I scored a point" (or 2 or 3, I'm obviously too nerdy to know that). If I shoot and "miss" sure, it could mean someone muggled the basket, but ... 

on the surface, I take DNFs as s "miss" on my honor-based scoreboard and maybe a snapshot of my experience. Sure, a pattern of DNFs can be educational, but I never viewed that as their primary function.

Scenario 1) I hunted thoroughly but couldn't find, no evidence anything is wrong = DNF with note describing experience.

Scenario 2) didn't find, recent spat of DNFs, changes at GZ or something suspicious, still = DNF but I may note my suspicions in the log. Perhaps send spoiler info or pics to CO.

 3) strong evidence cache is missing. Repeated requests in previous logs for CO to check cache = NM.

perhaps part of the problem here is the trend toward shorter or virtually non-existent logs. "TFTC" on a Find or "nope" on a DNF are useless. I'd rather scroll through a needlessly wordy log that lets me know the cachers experience than scrolling past a long list of nearly identical useless initialisms.

if the CHS views all DNFs as negative, it's a problem with the algorithm not the log type. Something that hopefully will be dialed in. Or again, if players now view DNFs to be a black mark on a cache log, adjust or clarify the definition. In my view there must be someway for a player to say "I came. I searched. I failed ... for now!" That's too common an occurrence to use WN which is supposed to be for logs falling outside the Common categories.

Edited by Doc_musketeers

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