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Author Topic: Which is the best pool for mining? - A guide for choosing the right pool  (Read 138436 times)
DeathAndTaxes
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November 09, 2011, 03:48:33 PM
 #21

do what you please but you will ruin a nice guide in the process. Some people have personal agendas and you should take that into account when adopting their "corrections". Just my personal opinion.

How dare he ruin a guide with facts.   Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry
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November 09, 2011, 04:03:31 PM
 #22

do what you please but you will ruin a nice guide in the process. Some people have personal agendas and you should take that into account when adopting their "corrections". Just my personal opinion.

How dare he ruin a guide with facts.   Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry

Pls calm down and comment like the grown up person i suppose you are.
I could have sent that in pm and lose the chance to alert some individuals they are inducing biased opinions into other peoples work.

The proof is already on this forum, or other independent blogs out there, and they point out some of the "new discovered" payout algos are taking a share of the unsuspecting miners revenue and then claiming it evens out in the long run. In this business you're really better off by listening your instinct and a good example was the guide posted by kislam

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November 09, 2011, 04:19:48 PM
 #23

So given you accept that average reward is the same then for the sake of bias free article why not modify you parapgrah about rewards.

On average the reward will be the same but your paragraph only talks about instances where reward will be lower there is an exactly equally chance the reward will be higher so it makes no sense to talk about a scenario (naming Slush pool specifically) where a miner might get a lower reward.  You could name both scenarios, and scenario of getting the average reward but why not get rid of all that.

I would recommend simply indicate that average reward for any fair pool is the same (unless the pool can be hopped).  I would even add a sentence where the belief that PPLNS or score based pools "punish" miners is an urban legend.  In long run each miner will receive the same value for their shares.

Then in a separate section talk about variance. Conflating the two and talking about only the downside scenario simply reinforces this mistaken belief about pool rewards.

I plan to, but unfortunately don't have the time right now to revise it in a way that will do it justice, so I have edited the OP to request the reader to also read post#15 for clarifications.

do what you please but you will ruin a nice guide in the process. Some people have personal agendas and you should take that into account when adopting their "corrections". Just my personal opinion.

Why do you think I am taking the time to formulate an appropriate response/rewrite? I definitely want to be impartial and mathematically correct, but also need to get across my own take on this very important issue without being influenced by 'personal agendas'.

cheers...

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November 09, 2011, 04:26:26 PM
 #24

see my prev post kislam, cheers to you too  Smiley

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November 09, 2011, 07:20:16 PM
 #25

What I did mean, however, is that the high variance is potentially a deal breaker in these cases. Although the total reward over time averages out, for the intermittent miner, the uncertainty associated with high variance can be a real annoyance. If the intermittent nature is out of the miner's control, he/she is already frustrated with the unpredictable downtime, and the variance adds to the chagrin. If they are intermittent by choice, they would (i assume) look for some certainty for rewards when the do mine. That's why I think a reward system like PPS is more suitable (psychologically) for the intermittent miner where they know exactly how much they are getting paid for the x hours they mined today.
That's true to some extent wrt slush/geometric (though IMO it's a bit overstated). It's not very true for PPLNS/DGM, since with the right parameters their window can be such that the variance for intermittent miners is pretty much the same as for continuous miners.

PS: Rosenfeld, both your links point to the same file, please correct that.
Sorry, fixed.

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November 09, 2011, 10:03:39 PM
 #26

How dare he ruin a guide with facts.   Angry Angry Angry Angry Angry
I could have sent that in pm and lose the chance to alert some individuals they are inducing biased opinions into other peoples work.

DeathAndTaxes is right, those are facts, not opinions. To me it sounds like you are saying 1+1=2 is just an opinion.

But you are right that I am biased, as are others. The reason I want people to understand PPLNS is because I use it in my pool. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, though.

The proof is already on this forum, or other independent blogs out there, and they point out some of the "new discovered" payout algos are taking a share of the unsuspecting miners revenue and then claiming it evens out in the long run.

Please include links to the proof of this. The whole reason I chose PPLNS was to get fair payouts to miners.

In this business you're really better off by listening your instinct and a good example was the guide posted by kislam

Where possible I would listen to facts, statistics and math. Check out the research Meni Rosenfeld has done on payout methods: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=32814.0

I agree this is a nice guide, though. It goes through the important issues and still manages to stay short, which I think is essential.

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November 10, 2011, 01:46:12 AM
 #27

How do you verify that a pool has good security? And by security, do you mean whether your money is safe with them? Pooled mining largely depends on the trust people put in pool operators. You should, no doubt, only mine at pools that are well-reputed. It's fairly easy to read up on the comments about a certain pool in this forum to get a feel for that pool's integrity.

I mean security from hackers. Little things like do they have https, address locking, email notifications. Of course, nothing stops the operators themselves from taking your coins.

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November 10, 2011, 04:17:50 AM
 #28

I kind of take exception to it as well.  As a pool op using DGM, I find that payouts are far, far more consistent than any other method for miners, be they intermittent or constant.  The DGM method really spreads out the "pain and suffering" of intermittent connections over several blocks, making it easier to take psychologically. 

EclipseMC being a no fee pool, I think it's one of the best solutions out there for non-PPS pools.  A true no-fee PPS pool is great, but  I question whether one can last, which is why I've stuck with DGM.


If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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November 10, 2011, 06:30:15 AM
 #29

OK, I have modified the pool reward method section. It now reflects my opinion regarding the suitability of reward method for a particular type of miner while trying to be un-biased. Please note that this guide focuses on finding the comfort zone for the miner. Highly technical mathematical proof has little relevance here - the primary goal of this guide was to actually avoid such technical discussion (which are available aplenty elsewhere in this forum) and offer an experience-based, subjective guideline to the newcomers who can get seriously confused with all the hype and over-the-top discussions. I have mentioned a few pools by name because that made it easier to explain with an example, and I don't believe the readers are naive enough to think they are the only pools to have the example feature.

If my guide hurts your pool in any way, sorry, that wasn't my intention at all. I am not affiliated with any pool and if your pool offers better value than others then you will win more users anyway.

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Meni Rosenfeld
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November 10, 2011, 08:16:44 AM
 #30

OK, I have modified the pool reward method section. It now reflects my opinion regarding the suitability of reward method for a particular type of miner while trying to be un-biased. Please note that this guide focuses on finding the comfort zone for the miner. Highly technical mathematical proof has little relevance here - the primary goal of this guide was to actually avoid such technical discussion (which are available aplenty elsewhere in this forum) and offer an experience-based, subjective guideline to the newcomers who can get seriously confused with all the hype and over-the-top discussions. I have mentioned a few pools by name because that made it easier to explain with an example, and I don't believe the readers are naive enough to think they are the only pools to have the example feature.
It's your guide. I don't have to agree with your opinions, but I'm hoping at least the facts will be straight.

Quote
Score-based pools punish the miner who, for whatever reason, does not or cannot maintain a stable mining operation at the pool for the entire duration of the round.
That's just wrong. They don't punish anyone. Saying they can be confusing (or unintuitive, or unpredictable) will be more reasonable.

And again, this is relevant to high-variance methods, but not so much for PPLNS. You can easily have PPLNS decay rate measured in days rather than minutes.

It is unfair to condemn all hopping-proof methods just because slush's pool has very fast decay. Part of the reason for this is that slush doesn't use a score-fee, so fast decay is necessary for hopping-resistance. The geometric method is hopping-proof regardless of the decay, so decay can be more gradual if the operator can absorb some variance. Also, the size of slush's pool makes the decay temporally faster.

Quote
The average reward will even out over the long run, but that also means you will need to stick to that one pool over an extended period in order to reap the expected reward.
That's wrong. You could mine in a different score-based fair pool every day, and your total rewards will still converge to the average.

Quote
zero-fee PPS
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. PPS needs to take a fee to maintain stability; and, conversely, PPS has a lot of advantages so it is reasonable to pay a fee for it. I think going forward we'll have stable 1%-2% fee PPS pools.

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proportionate pools do not have the intermittent issue
That's wrong. Even setting aside the hopping issue, proportional pools have higher variance than a PPLNS pool with the default parameters. So if PPLNS is bad for intermittent miners, so is proportional.

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November 10, 2011, 12:00:40 PM
 #31

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proportionate pools do not have the intermittent issue
That's wrong. Even setting aside the hopping issue, proportional pools have higher variance than a PPLNS pool with the default parameters. So if PPLNS is bad for intermittent miners, so is proportional.

Interesting.  I see that a proportional pool (assuming no pool hoppers) proves more of a problem for random intermittent miners versus 24/7 miners than a similar PPLNS pool (regardless of the value of N) (which in turn is more problematic than most other reward systems).  However, I don't have much of a feel for the value of N at which the share-based variance at PPLNS is similar to that of a proportional share.  Have you calculated such a value of N or merely shown that it is less than [difficulty]/2.

Also, I completely agree.  I'm not clear exactly on what the "intermittent issue" is but based only on the name I can safely say that if it's a problem for PPLNS then it's a bigger problem for proportional (certainly for N=[difficulty], arguably for all N).
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November 10, 2011, 01:25:51 PM
 #32

Frankly, I refuse to mine on a pool that uses a payout system that can be directly influenced or manipulated by the pool OP with ease, in their favor.

Not all, but some pools are actually run for profit. Most OPs aren't going to take the time to develop and support a pool out of their own pocket.... continuously.

How can a payment scheme have BOTH the miner's and pool's best interests in mind ? Situations like that simply can not exist, hence all of the fancy payment methods and variations. To dismiss all and believe that most of these were formulated to better protect full time miners from pool hoppers and the like would be silly.

The only truely honest/cheatproof payment method that regards the miner moreso than the pool OP's bottom line is PURE PPS.

Unfortunately, it is a huge risk for a Pool OP, even using a fee, although by offering it, the pool OP really is showing that he/she has the miner's best interests in mind. PPS variations serve more than just 'protection' for miner's profits....they also move a certain amount of risk down the scale, away from the pool OP's pocket. When I see a pool OP post negatively about PURE PPS, all I see is an OP looking to relieve some of the risks invloved with operating a pool as well as helping to secure profits at the same time.....NOT to better serve his miners/users as one might have everyone believe.

It's all about balance. There can't be ALL WINNERS and nothing on the other side of the equation.

Back to my opening comment.....'Influence' you ask ? Wrap your minds around this:

Greedy Pool OP + PPLNS (or Time/Score Based) & FAST DECAY + ROLLING TIMEOUTS -or- SLOW GETWORK PERFORMANCE (simply helping 'run out the clock') = ...... Wink You get the picture.

I almost forgot.... Wouldn't this also make the Pool seem quite LUCKY in the process ?

I know the share/hour average of my setup and ONLY mine PPS now....and I don't need to Trust ANYBODY but myself.

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November 10, 2011, 01:31:31 PM
 #33

Sad I thought the OP was going to update it to be objective and instead simply threw in even more confusing edge cases. 

PPLNS don't punish intermittent miners.
PPLNS miners will receive same value per share in long run regardless of how they mine.

The "guide" is now not something link worth (when noob asks for info on pools) and instead just another worthless personal "belief" based on superstition and half truths.

Sad because the OP spent a large amount of time and was articulate but it was wasted because he couldn't get away from personal biases.
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November 10, 2011, 02:42:50 PM
 #34

How can a payment scheme have BOTH the miner's and pool's best interests in mind ? Situations like that simply can not exist,
Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Life is not a zero-sum game, if it was there would be no way for pools to work in the first place. Pools exist to reduce a miner's variance without significantly affecting his expected payout and maturity time, and some reward systems do this better than others. Some systems make different tradeoffs between the three which are suitable for different miners.

hence all of the fancy payment methods and variations. To dismiss all and believe that most of these were formulated to better protect full time miners from pool hoppers and the like would be silly.
Being the one who developed most existing hopping-proof methods, I choose to take this personally. Thankfully, your opinion of my work means very little to me.

The only truely honest/cheatproof payment method that regards the miner moreso than the pool OP's bottom line is PURE PPS.
In a 0-fee PPLNS pool, all of the block reward goes to the miners. Nothing stays with the operator. To claim that this has anything to do with the operator's bottom line is silly.

Any type of pool - even more complicated ones like DGM - can be trivially audited to make sure the operator indeed conforms to the method and doesn't cheat. If you're concerned they don't publish enough stats to enable auditing, lobby for them to publish share tables including hash values and block headers. Make sure the tables are consistent with the payouts given. Log the shares you find and make sure they appear in the table. Verify that the shares in the table are valid.

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November 10, 2011, 02:58:18 PM
 #35

Interesting.  I see that a proportional pool (assuming no pool hoppers) proves more of a problem for random intermittent miners versus 24/7 miners than a similar PPLNS pool (regardless of the value of N) (which in turn is more problematic than most other reward systems).  However, I don't have much of a feel for the value of N at which the share-based variance at PPLNS is similar to that of a proportional share.  Have you calculated such a value of N or merely shown that it is less than [difficulty]/2.

Also, I completely agree.  I'm not clear exactly on what the "intermittent issue" is but based only on the name I can safely say that if it's a problem for PPLNS then it's a bigger problem for proportional (certainly for N=[difficulty], arguably for all N).
It's in AoBPMRS. Prop variance is roughly (pB)^2*ln(D), PPLNS variance is (pB)^2/X. So you need X > (1/ln(D)), or roughly N = 7.1% of the difficulty. The number is different if metric other than vanilla variance is used, but for any reasonable one X=1 (which IMO is a better parameter than 1/2) makes PPLNS better than prop.

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November 10, 2011, 04:25:03 PM
 #36

This might have already been said, but under Pool Reward Method you forgot DGM and SMPPS, which happen to be my favorite methods.

Also, are you planning on editing and maintaining this? There are quite a few instances where you talk about specific features of a certain pool. However, these things often change and you would have to come back in and modify a sentence here and there.
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November 10, 2011, 05:11:17 PM
 #37

This might have already been said, but under Pool Reward Method you forgot DGM and SMPPS, which happen to be my favorite methods.

Also, are you planning on editing and maintaining this? There are quite a few instances where you talk about specific features of a certain pool. However, these things often change and you would have to come back in and modify a sentence here and there.

At the beginning of the guide I provided links which discuss all the reward methods and asked readers to read up on them before going through the guide. Also, I did mention SMPPS and also that there are other reward methods as well.

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November 10, 2011, 05:28:25 PM
 #38

Interesting.  I see that a proportional pool (assuming no pool hoppers) proves more of a problem for random intermittent miners versus 24/7 miners than a similar PPLNS pool (regardless of the value of N) (which in turn is more problematic than most other reward systems).  However, I don't have much of a feel for the value of N at which the share-based variance at PPLNS is similar to that of a proportional share.  Have you calculated such a value of N or merely shown that it is less than [difficulty]/2.

Also, I completely agree.  I'm not clear exactly on what the "intermittent issue" is but based only on the name I can safely say that if it's a problem for PPLNS then it's a bigger problem for proportional (certainly for N=[difficulty], arguably for all N).
It's in AoBPMRS. Prop variance is roughly (pB)^2*ln(D), PPLNS variance is (pB)^2/X. So you need X > (1/ln(D)), or roughly N = 7.1% of the difficulty. The number is different if metric other than vanilla variance is used, but for any reasonable one X=1 (which IMO is a better parameter than 1/2) makes PPLNS better than prop.

Thanks for this, a neat little bit of trivia.  I honestly didn't expect the tipping point to be as small as N = 0.071*[difficulty].

Try not to let the trolls bother you.  I hope you find posting on this forum entertaining.

Given how slowly and painfully the mining community is processing "reward systems" I fear auditing is very much a future concern (and one I'm somewhat interested in).  Do you have a thread where you talk about possible far future scenarios for mining?  Both the topics of possible reward systems and number/sizes of pools would make for interesting discussion.
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November 10, 2011, 05:38:43 PM
 #39

Sad I thought the OP was going to update it to be objective and instead simply threw in even more confusing edge cases. 

PPLNS don't punish intermittent miners.
PPLNS miners will receive same value per share in long run regardless of how they mine.

The "guide" is now not something link worth (when noob asks for info on pools) and instead just another worthless personal "belief" based on superstition and half truths.

Sad because the OP spent a large amount of time and was articulate but it was wasted because he couldn't get away from personal biases.

If you have taken the time to go back and check whether I have updated the guide to be objective, you should have at least read it carefully enough to notice that I have taken out PPLNS from the sentence about reward methods punishing intermittent miners. Please get your facts right before calling something worthless.

And yes, there are personal biases - I have mentioned before that this guide is based on my personal experience with different pools, with an aim to make it easy to find a comfort zone for the newcomer.

And please let off with the "Same Value in the Long Term" argument. While perfectly valid in statistical terms, it has little relevance to the intermittent miner since it's far more important to know how much reward he/she can expect to earn for a given period of mining.

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November 10, 2011, 06:03:59 PM
 #40

And please let off with the "Same Value in the Long Term" argument. While perfectly valid in statistical terms, it has little relevance to the intermittent miner since it's far more important to know how much reward he/she can expect to earn for a given period of mining.
Then say that. Don't say they punish people. A little bit of wording can go a long way.

Also note my other points above.

Do you have a thread where you talk about possible far future scenarios for mining?  Both the topics of possible reward systems and number/sizes of pools would make for interesting discussion.
No coherent thread, but here's a short version of my vision: There will be several low-fee PPS pools, acting as a proxy to a p2pool as a backend. There will be many getwork servers, and people will freely mix-and-match their pool and getwork server(s). Oblivious shares will be used to prevent block withholding. Larger miners will skip the PPS pool and participate directly in the p2pool.

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