Feeds

Lager-swilling boffins crack secret of darts

Gaussian probability distribution points to better 'arrers'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Anyone wishing to give Eric "The Crafty Cockney" Bristow a run for his money at the oche has been offered a mathematical helping hand by a crack team from Aberdeen University, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The group, from the Department of Plant and Soil Science, has demonstrated that while the optimum aiming point for skilled players is the treble-20, less fortunate "arrers" aficionados should try and hit the treble-19, with those even more cack-handed better off going for the bullseye.

The end result is that "if a player's aiming skill is not as good as a professional's, then aiming at the other parts of the dartboard would ensure the mean score will be higher over time".

First up, the team created "a computer digital dartboard, along with virtual players [and] carried out endless simulations of a range of skill levels to figure out the spread of dart impacts". They worked on the assumption that "the dart would land randomly within...a Gaussian probability distribution - or a bell-shaped curve".

For the aforementioned Crafty Cockney, the bell is "tall and thin, reflecting how the darts would cluster around a narrow spot". For mere mortals, the bells flattens as the player's skill decreases, indicating increasingly widespread impact points.

Naturally, the Aberdeen Uni researchers then needed to prove their theory with some solid time at the coalface, viz: their local boozer the St Machar Bar.

Dr Matthew Aitkenhead, who studies the effects of climate change on soil when not swilling lager in a nylon shirt, explained: "We pinned paper on a darts board and threw darts at it, measuring the distribution."

Aitkenhead confirmed: "As the player's performance is decreased there was a slight movement of the optimal target location upwards from the treble-20, followed by a large jump towards treble-19. From here, the optimal target location moves upwards and slightly left, before curving round towards the bull."

The findings make a good deal of sense, we reckon, given that missing the 20 by a narrow, but critical, margin offers the possibility of hitting a one or a five, while bunched around the 19 are three and seven. Less accurate players should then shift their aiming point left from the 19 where (going in a clockwise direction), the 7, 16, 8, 11 and 14 can be found (average 11.2). To the right, are 3, 17, 2, 15 and 10 (average 9.4). And if you're completely inept, aiming at the bull increases your chances of actually hitting the board at all.* ®

Bootnote

*That's our analysis, anyway. We're quite happy to stand corrected on this.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.