Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Eurovision Song Contest and Geographics

In general I don't plan to comment on daily topics and with the exception of Apocalyptica I don't particularly like modern heavy music. But absent-mindedly following the Eurovision Song Context last weekend, I couldn't but help noticing that many neighboring countries did vote each other. This has been noticeable in past years, and this year, when citizens actually voted, I explained this to myself that immigrants and minorities vote to support their ethnic background.

So, up with the calculator, or rather the computer. I wrote a program which tries to place the countries on a 2D plane so that countries that voted heavily on each other were placed more adjacently than other countries, and vice versa. The layout tries to minimize the sum of squares of differences between the countries on the layout and the number of mutually awarded points. Final points weigh twice the semifinal points.

Yes, clearly one can observe several clusters of neighbor countries, but the planarity constraint makes it impossible to bring all voters of successful countries sufficiently close.

Oh, did I have an opinion of the winner? Not seriously, except that IMHO it was rather nice to see latex on the outside for once win silicone on the inside. And in general, diversity was really needed.


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