@steem-ua Still Alive & Kicking

in #utopian-io2 years ago (edited)

@steem-ua Still Alive & Kicking


@steem-ua Still Alive & Kicking

Over the past 10 days there were quite some changes in UA ranks, which caused a lot of questions, and there were also a few posts (for example by @tarazkp and @soyrosa) openly questioning whether the @steem-ua project still needs, and deserves, delegation support. This post aims to answer these questions and concerns, so that hopefully all can conclude @steem-ua is still “Alive & Kicking” and simply fine as it is.

@utopian-io quitting their witness node and UA rank effects

As you might know, in short, the UA influence (or reputation) metric and ranks are heavily dependent on two core components, being:

-a- the Follower Matrix / Graph (who follows who), and
-b- the Witness rankings (and who those witnesses follow)

Computation of UA scores for all accounts on the Steem blockchain is a massively complex undertaking with lots of number crunching. Something to realise as well, is that with every witness (un)vote and every account (un)follow on the Steem chain all UA scores change. When “plankton X” decides to follow “plankton Y” or “whale Z”, still every UA score changes, albeit slightly — that won’t effect big changes. Yet when a massive account like @utopian-io, which is not only very influential on the Steem chain but was also a top-10 witness account, decides to quit their witness activities, then all UA scores & ranks change a lot indeed.

You may like those changes, or you don’t, but this change in UA scores has always been coded like this by design: the event in which @utopian-io quit their witness activities and UA adapting its scores accordingly, is in fact proof the UA system is objectively functioning exactly as intended!

These UA score & rank changes can indeed be intuitively justified as well: as @utopian-io first announced quitting its witness, has been calling for voting on other witnesses they think deserve your witness vote,
quit their witness node (server), and quickly dropped its witness rank, from a mathematical point of view @utopian-io itself became “less influential” on Steem (therewith not meaning to state that @utopian-io isn’t meaningful anymore: it still is!), ergo the UA algorithm now passes on less “trust” to the @utopian-io account itself (the UA algorithm detected a large drop in people voting for the @utopian-io witness, and the UA algorithm “assumes” that therefore less trust should be passed to @utopian-io), and as a direct effect the account @utopian-io passes on less trust to the accounts it (in)directly follows itself: hence, those accounts dropped in their UA scores and ranks.

And at the same time, due to @utopian-io quickly dropping in witness ranks, the other witnesses increased their witness ranks, some of which increased a lot, so more UA Trust is now being passed to those witnesses and as a direct effect also to the accounts those witnesses follow themselves.

Where some lose rank, others gain: the sum of all “absolute UA” still remains 1. This is nothing short but full proof that UA functions just fine as it is.

UA (the Influence Metric) vs. @steem-ua (the Algorithmic Curation Program)

As we’ve stated time and time again, @steem-ua - the Algorithmic Curation Program - is merely one possible application of UA, the Influence Metric. Almost 5 months ago, we’ve Open Sourced the UA code for anybody to download, install, verify, contribute to, and build their own dApps with. @steem-ua has always been and still is an ALGORITHMIC curation & up vote program based on UA scores: this is not per se better than full manual curation, yet it is different and a perfectly fine alternative to delegating to “bid bots” or “promotional services”.

@steem-ua is still being delegated to by almost 900 individual delegators: a few powerful supporters wholeheartedly delegating tens of thousands of SP to @steem-ua (e.g. @neoxian and @jaki01) enable hundreds of smaller delegators to get upvoted by @steem-ua with a higher value than they could receive if they would self-vote at 100%. In other words: @steem-ua helps to keep onboard these smaller accounts, to stay with Steem and grow their accounts.

If you’re a big Steem account and you’re primarily interested in getting rewarded a good ROI in terms of “accumulating even more Steem tokens by delegating”, then delegating to “bid bots” is your best choice.
However, if you’re, being a big Steem account, more interested in adding more value to Steem, to grow the Steem user base, to increase demand for Steem then @steem-ua can be your preferred project to delegate to. Your big delegation matters: it supports hundreds of small accounts getting better upvotes by @steem-ua, and that by itself increases your own Steem holdings.

Thank you for your time! Steem On!


Hello, @steem-ua!

Thank you for your contribution to Utopian. The algorithmic curation program is a wonderful project, and I appreciate the fact that you took the time to create an informative blog post. The post is also well-written.

In terms of content, I like all the information provided. Even though the post lacks editorial content, it certainly contains all the necessary details. I have to admit that I wanted to read a bit more about your personal experience of working on this project, however I do realize that this wasn't the purpose of this particular blog post.

To summarize, this is a nice contribution from you. It is great to see that everything is running smoothly, and I think that you are doing a really good job. Keep it up.

Your contribution has been evaluated according to Utopian policies and guidelines, as well as a predefined set of questions pertaining to the category.

To view those questions and the relevant answers related to your post, click here.

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Thank you for your review, @lordneroo! Keep up the good work!

I still think the direct steem-ua API is too hard to use. So I bypassed it and used hivemind to do these queries:


Your "UA Trending Feed, PoC" is very cool. I think there are better, more complete, ways to implement what you've built (I completely understand you implementation strategy though), but as a PoC, it's great!

Looking at those posts in your "UA Trending List" and the order in which they're placed, I think it has potential to be implemented Steem-wide / Condenser-Native. Of course, it only (now) contains recent posts published by the @steem-ua delegators (which could be solved if all accounts delegate to @steem-ua :P )
Yet more realistically speaking (hey, one can dream, right!) a "UA Trending Feed" should include all accounts and all their posts. Every account does have a UA score, and so does every post, regardless whether those accounts are delegating to @steem-ua, or not.

I agree the current UA-API doesn't fit those requirements. Implementation-wise, I wouldn't recommend an infrastructure to deploy a UA Trending Feed being dependent on an external node and the UA-API. Instead, how about locally running the UA-Python Lib (sourced / linked-to in this post), circumventing Hivemind, and doing a UA Trending PoC based on all Live UA Data?

(PS: as you might know, I got tired of the "personal bashing" and "social / political quarrels" associated to UA / @steem-ua. Personally, I don't feel too comfortable going that route again by self-developing the UA Trending PoC as explained -- this is an understatement even. Yet I've always had nice talks with you, so if you're up for the challenge, I'd be happy to guide you towards an implementation as mentioned in this comment.)

Here's another idea. Issue daily Steem-UA tokens based on the rank or whatever criteria. Maybe token issue would be based on rank alone, regardless of post frequency. Or maybe it's a combination of rank and post. Whatever, doesn't matter.

Then, anyone can look at the sum issued over time to the account to determine rank.

I do something similar here, in my STINGY token report:


That report doesn't simply look at the rich list. This is the simple rich list, see the difference?


My report shows how many people earned STINGY. The rich list shows how many people have earned + bought (market trades), so the rich list might be less interesting.

I could see a Steem-UA implementation leverage this same dynamic.

Maybe you always issue 1000 tokens every day, but it's divided by the top accounts according to the current Steem-UA rank.

Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering why my UA rank had dropped so much.

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Now you know! ;-)

Good to know. Hopefully there are some more posts coming as the last one before this was 5 months ago. A lot of people seem to use it as an indicator of their engagement so I think it is important for there to be updates along the way, even if it is just to show that there is still someone behind the wheel.

I agree that it's important to provide some "vocal loudness" every now and then. On the other hand, I'm not of the type to "just post, to post" and as @steem-ua has always been an Algorithmic Curation Program (which of course includes a lot of "manual curation" - yet in-directly! - all manual actions / transactions are the basis of all UA computations) not posting and just "letting the system run" does fit "the UA / Steem-ua Way".

@neoxian a few days ago DM'd me to notify me about your post, and by then I had already drafted parts of this post as an explanatory update discussing the effects of Utopian quitting its witness activities on the UA data. So both your post and the "Utopian explanatory update" were, in my mind, a good topic to post about!

Yep, it was a good thing. I am glad you posted it because as said, quite a few people use it as a metric of their engagement/growth etc, but don't understand how it works or what affects it. THanks.

Supporting small accounts is a greath thing and you have done great job at that. Congrats on that.
There may be some room for impovment in evaluating the quality of the posts :)

In essence the algorithm works just fine. If more people would be more "selective" about which witnesses they vote for and who they choose to follow, which posts they upvote and to which they comment, then the algorithm would function even better - just like it is coded right now.

Concerning the witnesses some very few very rich users have a huge influence on the ranks of the witnesses, and thus on everybody's ua-rating ...

In and by itself that observation is both correct and "just how things are" currently; it's a direct consequence of dPOS, which also has its advantages and disadvantages of course.

The "witness rank" component, via which an initializing "UA trust vector" is assigned to all Steem accounts, surely has its pitfalls -- I'm not denying that of course. On the one hand, I agree with you that indeed a few very large stakeholders (e.g. @freedom) have an immense influence on -a- the witness rankings and therewith also on -b- all UA scores. But on the other hand, the question begs: "is that therefore 'wrong', or a good indicator indeed?"

@freedom is massively "influential" on Steem, yet due to not openly blogging via the @freedom account (arguably one of the best example accounts on why UA functions better as an influence metric than "reputation"), it has no "votable objects" and conversely no "reputation earnings" either, but it does have a relatively high UA score (and rightfully so!). And therewith, I argue that it is justified that the witnesses @freedom / @pumpkin votes on should be "powered with" lots of "UA Trust".

So is the UA witness ranking component "perfect"? Nope. Is it "justified"? Yes, I think it is.

Right, it is indeed kind of an 'influence score' which need not to be bad. Nevertheless, people with much influence still can have a very bad reputation (think at Donald Trump for example ...). :-)

Steemit, Inc. changed the display of the people one is following. There is no alphabetical order any longer. I had started to go through the people I follow in an alphabetical order (I had reached 'j'). Now this is not possible anymore (ok, maybe other STEEM interfaces list the names still in an alphabetical order, I just didn't check it).

I'm not complaing about the UA score but the daily rankings of the posts.... I dont know how that works, but from what I have seen there is room for improvment

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There's always room for improvement! ;-)

This is a great project and something I feel everyone should participate in. I regret pulling my delegation but the moment I have SP to spare again I’ll definitely be saddling back up. Thanks @scipio! 😄

One can always re-begin delegating; that's the beauty of the delegation system

Mystery of my improvements explained! Thanks for the update! Eager to see more nee accounts join and monitor their progress as it has been useful for me to see how I am improving within the community. You should do a round of posts to welcome new users as more have joined (and left) the last couple of months!

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True, partially, which is why this post was posted!
A lot has been explained in earlier posts, and maybe this one will stimulate to newcomers reading what we wrote before.

@steem-ua glad things are going well for you, one of my first delegations was to you and I enjoy seeing the metrics from the comments.

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We might improve those "smart comments" further somewhat...

thanks for writing this update as the post by @tarazkp had me wondering as well and checking up on what was going on. I still have my delegation running and plan on keeping it that way. Its not massive in the scheme of things but it does support the platform as such...

Every delegation helps, albeit that the project is heavily supported by those delegating more than 250 SP. The large delegations "carry" the smaller ones, pull them in so to say, and keep the project going.

Huge thanks for this to @neoxian and @jaki01. @steem-ua owes them lots of "thank you's"

A TLDR would have been great :P

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The TL;DR is in the title ;-) "Still alive and kicking" :P

Fair enough :D

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can someone just tell me in kid style what is steem-ua, I asked in discord too :(

UA (short for "User Authority") is an alternative "influence metric", like your "57" (right now) reputation score. Where this "reputation score" is computed simply by how much rewards you've acquired over time, UA doesn't look at your rewards / earnings per se, but at who is following who. A (very complex) computation system, lots of number crunching, was invented (by me), then coded (by @holger80 in direct and intensive cooperation with me), to compute (and frequently re-computed) every account's UA score and rank.

@steem-ua is one application that utilizes UA data: you can delegate to it, but unlike a "promo bid bot" it then doesn't upvote your posts by how much you've delegated to @steem-ua but by your UA scores compared to others. It uses 3 components: your own account's UA score, all UA scores from the accounts upvoting your posts, and the same for all accounts commenting on / engaging with, your posts.

Then this way, Using UA services will be beneficial only in cases, if a whale upvotes my post or comments on it since my UA score is obviously low and I would need some whale engagement to effectively get benefit from steem-ua services.

Is it so or should I give it a shot by delegating?

Hi @holger80, I guess it's still being stablized right? even looking at top 100, some accounts do not make sense at all (just compare top 100 witness with ua 100). If this is already stabilized ranking, I believe there is something wrong, or the algorithm needs some tuning. thanks.

As said, in this post, every (un)follow and every witness (un)vote on the Steem chain changes all UA scores. What doesn't make "sense" to you, is still a direct (equilibrium) result of current Steem Witness ranks and the entire Steem Follow Matrix.

Feel free to tune UA yourself! The repo has been open sourced (link is in the post, click click) and be sure to DM me when you've posted about your own UA settings!

I know it's open source, but no thanks.

I just pointed out that something may be wrong. Maybe you should thank for that, not asking me to tune? Just compare ua top 100 and witness top 100 if you haven't, then you may also disagree with the current result. As far as I remember, these days, the ranks have not been updated so frequently, so that's why I ask if it's still being updated. I'll just wait for a few more days. But one thing for sure is it's quite sensitive, which is fine. It's just one ranking system, and there is no ranking system that everybody can agree.

Again, I'm not complaining. I also know that UA rank is not so related to the post rank, and I really don't care both. But I was trying to help. That's all. For instance, I delegated (though small) from an account that I don't even post often enough to help steem-ua.

ps. I'm an economist and also a dev. I know what equilibrium means. This isn't an equilibrium. Do not overuse the term equilibrium though I understand it sounds fancy so too overused in the industry. Maybe just "result" or "outcome" is the right word in this case. As you said, if "very (un)follow and every witness (un)vote on the Steem chain changes all UA scores. ", then it's not an equilibrium.

If you use equilibrium just to mean "stablized outcome/status" (usual in the industry), it's also not.

I also have a question: It seems utopian also undelegated to steem-ua, so will the voting for utopian post discontinue soon?

ps. Since you're the one of PO, I appreciate if you could use more deliberated tone to users. While I'm at it, let me tell you this too. No offense. This is just my and many users' opinion. I remember that you or some other team member downvoted dlive with steem-ua account (most SP is delegated from users). Of course, most users including me thought dlive did a very bad thing, but you shouldn't have downvoted with @steem-ua.

I just pointed out that something is wrong. Maybe you should thank for that, not asking me to tune?

And I responded I think it's fine as it is, so that if you think it's wrong it's not up to me to change it. I do listen to you though, and to everybody with good intentions talking about possible improvements. So please don't confuse my response with not thanking you: I am content with your suggestions, please treat mine likewise! ;-)

ps. I'm an economist and also a dev. I know what equilibrium means. This isn't an equilibrium. Do not overuse the term equilibrium though I understand it sounds fancy so too overused in the industry

Please have a read here which is my original "UA invention post" prior to actually developing the UA algorithm. In there I explain what I meant with "equilibrium" in the context of using a multi-iterative substitution approach over Gauss(ian)-Jordan Matrix Row Reduction, in a successful attempt to circumvent the in-RAM computational cost of holding 1.45 trillion Eigenvalues.
=> you don't see me wrongfully using the term Equilibrium in (my) mathematical context, do you? It's the same context I'm referring to now.

It seems utopian also undelegated to steem-ua, so will the voting for utopian post will discontinue soon?

In fact @elear and I had contact prior to @utopian-io quitting their witness and pulling back @steem-ua delegations. We're still friends, @elear's decision had zero to do with @steem-ua itself and it's not me to openly elaborate about his business decisions regarding his company. And no, @steem-ua (and @holger80 and myself individually as well) still support @utopian-io and will continue to upvote Utopian contributions as well. Personally, I think Open Source Utopian contributions are paramount to the overall success of the Steem chain. @utopian-io delegating to @steem-ua has far deeper roots than a "vote-4-vote" or something... #i-am-utopian

I haven't carefully read the post you mentioned, but come on :) In the previous comment, you used equilibrium no that way :) But that's fine. I know equilibrium can mean many things in the reality :)

I may actually see the UA source code (I actually contributed several steem projects for fun. Especially, if you're using Busy, you should thank me). If so I'll let you know if I have something. But not near future :(

And no, @steem-ua (and @holger80 and myself individually as well) still support @utopian-io and will continue to upvote Utopian contributions as well.

This is great and thank you so much! I also (again small :) delegated to utopian on my own, and thought of increasing it continuously but after seeing a few moves of recent utopian, not sure. But I also use around 9k to vote utopian posts. Hope steem-ua successfully continue as well. Thank you for listening to my suggestion.

Nor UA, nor @steem-ua for that matter is "perfect". I've never intentionally labeled it as such either. Yet UA (as an influence metric) and @steem-ua (a curation system using UA data) do have "a place" on Steem, I think.

If you read back, I mean my initial "invention posts", you can see that initially I've tried to let others, preferably Steemit Inc. itself, develop UA and embed it both in the Condenser interface as well as "blockchain-wide". Yet some large stakeholders like it, others don't, other technological developments have/had a higher priority, and as a consequence I've joined forces with @holger80 to develop UA and @steem-ua.

And I think we so far we've done the best we could; the mere fact close to 900 individual accounts are delegating to @steem-ua is "proof" the program and metric have merit.

And as I've explained in this post, it's the "Steem-UA Power Delegators" that "carry" all those smaller delegators; providing them with higher upvotes than self-voting would bring them, and at the same time keeping them on-board on the Steem chain. That's worth a lot, I think. So if you support this mission, then feel free to become a "Power Delegator" yourself of course... Would be very much appreciated.

I totally agree that you guys have been doing good so far and I support the program. So you don't need to explain about it in detail :)

But I'm talking about the possibility of bug in the recent change.

Just see https://steem-ua.com/stats

surprised that you guys haven't fixed this yet. I mentioned this several times including here: https://steemit.com/utopian-io/@blockchainstudio/steem-ua-suggestions-optional-ranking-info-in-comments-delegator-pages-voting-conflict-prevention-for-utopian-posts (probably you didn't read this before)

There is a bug in this very simple thing. How are you so sure about more complicated algorithm? Personally I have fixed many bugs in several steem projects. Any program can have bugs.

For instance, afaik, top 100 witness's UA rank was usually higher than 150. But for instance, ayogom (58th)'s UA rank was around 100 but now 5265. This is just an example and there are so many cases like this. As I said many times, please make comparison table witness rank and ua rank, then you'll understand what I'm talking about. Again, it had been quite reasonable til a few days ago.

Congratulations @steem-ua! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You made more than 105000 upvotes. Your next target is to reach 110000 upvotes.
You made more than 105000 comments. Your next target is to reach 110000 comments.

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

@arcange, you've been of massive supportive help yourself as well. Thx!

Congratulations @steem-ua! You received a personal award!

Thank you for the witness votes you made to support your Steem community and for keeping the Steem blockchain decentralized

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking

Do not miss the last post from @steemitboard:

Use your witness votes and get the Community Badge
Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

I jumped to the top 25, gotten be happy with that 😜

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Oh that's great then. Didn't even notice the ranking change and such. All I know is I appreciate every upvote I get. 😄

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Hey, @steem-ua!

Thanks for contributing on Utopian.
We’re already looking forward to your next contribution!

Get higher incentives and support Utopian.io!
Simply set @utopian.pay as a 5% (or higher) payout beneficiary on your contribution post (via SteemPlus or Steeditor).

Want to chat? Join us on Discord https://discord.gg/h52nFrV.

Vote for Utopian Witness!

#steem ♨ On ! @steem-ua ♥♬

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Congratulations @steem-ua! You received a personal award!

Happy Birthday! - You are on the Steem blockchain for 1 year!

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking

Vote for @Steemitboard as a witness to get one more award and increased upvotes!

...like this project..up.. follow you..

I'd really like to see this project amped up and continued! Well, basically I mean I'd like to see a lot more people delegate, especially whales. Even with the EIP changes, the number in front of our names is not a very good indicator of how much value we bring to the ecosystem, IMO. Any plans to increase the presence of @steem-ua and/or continually develop the algorithm? Or do you feel it's complete and serves its purpose as is @scipio?

Sorry that I'm so late to reply @d-pend, with all the TRON stuff happening I think you'll forgive me ;-)

Steem-UA is basically just one possible application of the UA algorithm, which is a probability distribution. Before it was coded, but of course after I published the core algorithm in my original UA post (nov. 2017), I initially tried to have my idea implemented blockchain-wide and -native, after which several talks were held with Ned, who "inspired" / "motivated" me (...) with another route and remuneration model.

Eventually Holger coded it with my help on how the algorithm is supposed to work.

Is Steem-UA complete and functioning as-is: well, yes, in and by itself.
Could it be improved? Sure.
Are there other applications for UA? Yes, many many more.
Am I willing to invest even more time on that now? Let's say some of the experiences with certain people I've had in the past 18 months aren't that motivating for such an endeavour.

No problem on the delay, and thanks for the thorough response. I am hopeful that there will be another opportunity in the future to further the use of this algorithm when conditions are right.

Good to know!