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Topic: Is there a way to calculate an average ranking from uneven lists?
Replies: 12   Last Post: Nov 2, 2013 12:55 PM

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Jennifer Murphy

Posts: 24
Registered: 2/23/12
Is there a way to calculate an average ranking from uneven lists?
Posted: Oct 27, 2013 3:20 PM
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There are many lists containing rankings of great books. Some are
limited to a particular genre (historical novels, biographies, science
fiction). Others are more general. Some are fairly short (50-100 books).
Others are much longer (1,001 books).

Is there a way to "average" the data from as many of these lists as
possible to get some sort of composite ranking of all of the books that
appear in any of the lists?

I took a crack at it with a spreadsheet, but ran into problems. I will
explain it briefly here.

If the lists are all the same length and include exactly the the same
books, the solution is relatively simple (I think). I can just average
the ranks. I can even add a weighting factor to each list to adjust the
influence on the composite ranking up or down.

I ran into problems when the lists are of different lengths and contain
different books. I could not think of a way to calculate a composite
ranking (or rating) when the lists do not all contain the same books.

Another complicationb is that at least one of the lists is unranked (The
Time 100). Is there any way to make use of that list?

I created a PDF document with some tables illustrating what I have
tried. Here's the link to the DropBox folder:

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