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Author Topic: Which is the best pool for mining? - A guide for choosing the right pool  (Read 138357 times)
kislam
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November 10, 2011, 06:07:00 PM
 #41

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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.

That still defeats the point by restricting the miner to a small number of pools, which would have to be similar in nature, at least for the fee system. Good luck with that.

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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.

zero-fee PPS pools do exist. Whether they are sustainable over the long run is another matter altogether and quite beyond the scope pf this discussion. Whether fees are reasonable or not can only be decided by the open market system. Users will not accept fees if they do not perceive getting adequate value for that fee (as long as there is a lower fee alternative available).

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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.

I have already mentioned that proportional pools have higher variance than others, in the second line of the very paragraph you are talking about.

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kislam
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November 10, 2011, 06:11:53 PM
 #42

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.

Scores decay exponentially if the miner is disconnected. How is that not punishing the disconnection?

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November 10, 2011, 06:19:58 PM
 #43

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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.
That still defeats the point by restricting the miner to a small number of pools, which would have to be similar in nature, at least for the fee system. Good luck with that.
They don't have to be similar in nature. As long as the miner makes sure to only mine in pools were he doesn't lose to pool-hopping, his reward will converge to the average.

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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.
I have already mentioned that proportional pools have higher variance than others, in the second line of the very paragraph you are talking about.
This doesn't make the quoted sentence any less wrong. The intermittent issue either exists in both PPLNS and proportional or in neither (and if it's neither, remove PPLNS from "...score-based and PPLNS pools require special consideration on your part").

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.
Scores decay exponentially if the miner is disconnected. How is that not punishing the disconnection?
The score for previous shares decays exponentially whether the miner disconnects or not. Remaining connected doesn't stop the decay, it just replenishes the score with the score of the new shares.


I'm not completely sure if we're still discussing in good faith. If I'm not welcome I'll leave, no hurt feelings.

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November 10, 2011, 06:23:39 PM
 #44

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.

To clarify, when you say "expect" are you referring to the concept of "expected value" from the theory of probability or something more along the lines of "a high chance of receiving at least a certain amount".

If you are concerned about the latter it would be worth pointing out that mining for a few hours at a small PPLNS pool (say N = [difficulty]) has a definite, positive, non-negligible probability of paying out 0 BTC (similar to how a lottery ticket can end up being worthless).  This is one aspect of PPLNS that many miners (even 24/7 miners) find psychologically difficult to handle and, consequently, I feel it is a fair criticism of the reward system.

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.

Interesting.  I might also expect a large array of small PPLNS (or similar) pools.  If there were one such pool a miner may well want to send 2% of their hashing power to increase their variance and expected income so such a setup seems stable.  That's juts a knee-jerk reaction though, I think I'll give this some thought.
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November 10, 2011, 06:37:03 PM
 #45

Scores decay exponentially if the miner is disconnected. How is that not punishing the disconnection?
[/quote]
The score for previous shares decays exponentially whether the miner disconnects or not. Remaining connected doesn't stop the decay, it just replenishes the score with the score of the new shares.
[/quote]

Yes, this seems to be a common misunderstanding and so I think is very much worth including in your work kislam.  Scores are not designed to decay to attack intermittent miners and thereby reduce pool hopping, they are there to ensure that the expected value of a submitted share is independent of the current round age.
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November 10, 2011, 06:38:26 PM
 #46

I believe everyone should move to PPS.

If you stay with PPLNS or Prop you are losing out :

-prone to tons of variance and bad luck and long rounds
-prone to pool hoppers that will bend and screw you over
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November 10, 2011, 06:47:53 PM
 #47

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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.

zero-fee PPS pools do exist. Whether they are sustainable over the long run is another matter altogether and quite beyond the scope pf this discussion. Whether fees are reasonable or not can only be decided by the open market system. Users will not accept fees if they do not perceive getting adequate value for that fee (as long as there is a lower fee alternative available).

Agreed.  This is not a place for discussing the viability of various pool systems but for helping miners select a pool which works for them.  No-fee PPS pools do exist and, even without merged mining, such a pool is a decent choice for a miner.
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November 10, 2011, 06:52:45 PM
 #48

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To clarify, when you say "expect" are you referring to the concept of "expected value" from the theory of probability or something more along the lines of "a high chance of receiving at least a certain amount".


From my recommendation of using PPS pools in this scenario it should be clear that I meant the latter.

Quote

If you are concerned about the latter it would be worth pointing out that mining for a few hours at a small PPLNS pool (say N = [difficulty]) has a definite, positive, non-negligible probability of paying out 0 BTC (similar to how a lottery ticket can end up being worthless).  This is one aspect of PPLNS that many miners (even 24/7 miners) find psychologically difficult to handle and, consequently, I feel it is a fair criticism of the reward system.


I did not want to bring that up in order to avoid adding further technicality in this particular thread that attempts from the beginning to be non-technical. The PPLNS method also does away with the concept of rounds (or rather, it disregards round boundaries), which is another psychological hurdle for the average joe. Once a round is finished, if you have submitted shares, you expect (no relation to probability theory) to receive some reward. Fancy mathematics will have a hard time convincing the miner to wait for the long run when his rewards will average out.

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November 10, 2011, 06:56:39 PM
 #49

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.

I did go back and read it and while you tried to fix it with further edge cases it only makes it more complex and STILL wrong.

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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.

This is 100% false.  Nobody is punished in a score based pool.  Even pool hoppers aren't punished it is simply difficult (but not impossible) for them to achieve a >100% PPS return on their shares.

PPLNS pools don't require any special consideration any more than proportional pools do.  Essentially unless the pool is corrupted, or hopped the revenue is the same.  The only thing that varies is variance.
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November 10, 2011, 07:00:52 PM
 #50

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To clarify, when you say "expect" are you referring to the concept of "expected value" from the theory of probability or something more along the lines of "a high chance of receiving at least a certain amount".
From my recommendation of using PPS pools in this scenario it should be clear that I meant the latter.

It wasn't clear to me but I did suspect we might be working from different definitions of "expect".  Thanks for clearing that up.  You might consider putting a note about that in your text for mathematicians and gamblers.

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If you are concerned about the latter it would be worth pointing out that mining for a few hours at a small PPLNS pool (say N = [difficulty]) has a definite, positive, non-negligible probability of paying out 0 BTC (similar to how a lottery ticket can end up being worthless).  This is one aspect of PPLNS that many miners (even 24/7 miners) find psychologically difficult to handle and, consequently, I feel it is a fair criticism of the reward system.
I did not want to bring that up in order to avoid adding further technicality in this particular thread that attempts from the beginning to be non-technical. The PPLNS method also does away with the concept of rounds (or rather, it disregards round boundaries), which is another psychological hurdle for the average joe. Once a round is finished, if you have submitted shares, you expect (no relation to probability theory) to receive some reward. Fancy mathematics will have a hard time convincing the miner to wait for the long run when his rewards will average out.

I'd argue that warning people that there's a real chance they could get no reward for a few hours mining at a PPLNS pool is far from technical.

Yes, round boundaries are done away with too and this is a little more technical and possibly could be omitted.  I agree that it is another hurdle as many miners think of a share as being part of a block rather than simply a proof-of-work packet.  It can be confusing that a share found in one round can still be generating income many rounds later.
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Gerald Davis


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November 10, 2011, 07:08:56 PM
 #51

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To clarify, when you say "expect" are you referring to the concept of "expected value" from the theory of probability or something more along the lines of "a high chance of receiving at least a certain amount".
From my recommendation of using PPS pools in this scenario it should be clear that I meant the latter.

It wasn't clear to me but I did suspect we might be working from different definitions of "expect".  Thanks for clearing that up.  You might consider putting a note about that in your text for mathematicians and gamblers.

Quote
If you are concerned about the latter it would be worth pointing out that mining for a few hours at a small PPLNS pool (say N = [difficulty]) has a definite, positive, non-negligible probability of paying out 0 BTC (similar to how a lottery ticket can end up being worthless).  This is one aspect of PPLNS that many miners (even 24/7 miners) find psychologically difficult to handle and, consequently, I feel it is a fair criticism of the reward system.
I did not want to bring that up in order to avoid adding further technicality in this particular thread that attempts from the beginning to be non-technical. The PPLNS method also does away with the concept of rounds (or rather, it disregards round boundaries), which is another psychological hurdle for the average joe. Once a round is finished, if you have submitted shares, you expect (no relation to probability theory) to receive some reward. Fancy mathematics will have a hard time convincing the miner to wait for the long run when his rewards will average out.

I'd argue that warning people that there's a real chance they could get no reward for a few hours mining at a PPLNS pool is far from technical.

Yes, round boundaries are done away with too and this is a little more technical and possibly could be omitted.  I agree that it is another hurdle as many miners think of a share as being part of a block rather than simply a proof-of-work packet.  It can be confusing that a share found in one round can still be generating income many rounds later.


PPLNS pools could help by showing a lifetime revenue & lifetime shares and lifetime expected value.  When people can see "hey I am getting within 1% +/- of PPS then it doesn't really matter if the payments are a little lumpy.
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November 10, 2011, 07:11:19 PM
 #52


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.

Pools do _not_ exist to reduce a miner's variance, they exist to reduce the operator's variance. Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate. The primary reason an operator sets up a pool is to reduce the time taken to find blocks by increasing total hash rate. A pool does not get set up with the target to benefit the miners. The operator has something to gain, if not fees then at least the higher frequency of finding blocks that pooled mining allows as opposed to solo mining.

And please stop advertising your work so much. Your work is quite admirable, for sure (big fan, actually), and providing a link to it when applicable is perfectly fine. But it doesn't warrant posting twice in someone else's thread.

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November 10, 2011, 07:26:08 PM
 #53


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.

Pools do _not_ exist to reduce a miner's variance, they exist to reduce the operator's variance. Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate. The primary reason an operator sets up a pool is to reduce the time taken to find blocks by increasing total hash rate. A pool does not get set up with the target to benefit the miners. The operator has something to gain, if not fees then at least the higher frequency of finding blocks that pooled mining allows as opposed to solo mining.

And please stop advertising your work so much. Your work is quite admirable, for sure (big fan, actually), and providing a link to it when applicable is perfectly fine. But it doesn't warrant posting twice in someone else's thread.

Are you dense ..

"Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate."

Variance is deviation from expected value.  This has greater effect on shorter periods of time.
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November 10, 2011, 07:32:43 PM
 #54

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PPLNS pools could help by showing a lifetime revenue & lifetime shares and lifetime expected value.  When people can see "hey I am getting within 1% +/- of PPS then it doesn't really matter if the payments are a little lumpy.

Why bother? Easier to just mine PPS instead.

In fact, I am getting tired of all this hair splitting. This guide is NOT about one single reward method. Enough has been said about this one issue and miners can form their own opinions regarding which method is suitable for them.

Moving on.

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November 10, 2011, 07:37:42 PM
 #55

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PPLNS pools could help by showing a lifetime revenue & lifetime shares and lifetime expected value.  When people can see "hey I am getting within 1% +/- of PPS then it doesn't really matter if the payments are a little lumpy.

Why bother? Easier to just mine PPS instead.

In fact, I am getting tired of all this hair splitting. This guide is NOT about one single reward method. Enough has been said about this one issue and miners can form their own opinions regarding which method is suitable for them.

Moving on.

Why?  Because of risk of loss or lower return.  There is no free lunch.

PPS takes all the variance from the miner and puts it completely on the pool.  That presents two risks:

0% fee (and low fee) PPS pools run the risk of financial failure (gamblers fallacy).
high fee pools reduce the miner's bottom line.  

EV is actually reduced for PPS pools compared to other types of pools either through fees or though risk of loss.

Move on all you want but you guide turned into little more than an unresearched biased filled blog about pools and features you happen to like.  Which is sad.  It could have been a useful resource for the forum and new miners.  
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November 10, 2011, 07:39:59 PM
 #56

And please stop advertising your work so much. Your work is quite admirable, for sure (big fan, actually), and providing a link to it when applicable is perfectly fine. But it doesn't warrant posting twice in someone else's thread.
I removed the second link. I'll leave now.

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November 10, 2011, 07:51:46 PM
 #57


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.

Pools do _not_ exist to reduce a miner's variance, they exist to reduce the operator's variance. Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate. The primary reason an operator sets up a pool is to reduce the time taken to find blocks by increasing total hash rate. A pool does not get set up with the target to benefit the miners. The operator has something to gain, if not fees then at least the higher frequency of finding blocks that pooled mining allows as opposed to solo mining.

And please stop advertising your work so much. Your work is quite admirable, for sure (big fan, actually), and providing a link to it when applicable is perfectly fine. But it doesn't warrant posting twice in someone else's thread.

Are you dense ..

"Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate."

Variance is deviation from expected value.  This has greater effect on shorter periods of time.


Are you human ...

Please come out from behind your technical terminology and mathematical models for a second and try to look at it from an average miner's point of view. Only time will tell which reward method wins out in terms of popularity. It may be that all pools only support PPLNS in the future, but there is also a non-zero, positive, non-negligible probability that everyone drops it because miners simply started avoiding pools with PPLNS. In the end, being the best or fairest reward method matters little if the end users are not willing to accept/adopt it. The majority is always right. We'll just have to wait and see...

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November 10, 2011, 07:52:28 PM
 #58

Move on all you want but you guide turned into little more than an unresearched biased filled blog about pools and features you happen to like.  Which is sad.  It could have been a useful resource for the forum and new miners.  

That's kind of the feeling I got from the OP as well. It's not comprehensive and does not describe the reward systems in any meaningful way (either technically or emotionally) beyond the one type OP likes.  It can still be saved though.  

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, 08:03:53 PM
 #59

Move on all you want but you guide turned into little more than an unresearched biased filled blog about pools and features you happen to like.  Which is sad.  It could have been a useful resource for the forum and new miners.  

Yes, I will move on. Reward system was just one of many parts of the guide and PPLNS is just one reward system of many. It seems like the only people complaining so much about errors are those who have vested interest in PPLNS. I don't have a problem with that, but I do believe my time is better spent elsewhere. Gotta draw the line somewhere.

Condemn the guide all you want, but I know it will help newcomers make a little more sense of the quite daunting task of choosing the right pool for them.

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Gerald Davis


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November 10, 2011, 08:08:03 PM
 #60


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.

Pools do _not_ exist to reduce a miner's variance, they exist to reduce the operator's variance. Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate. The primary reason an operator sets up a pool is to reduce the time taken to find blocks by increasing total hash rate. A pool does not get set up with the target to benefit the miners. The operator has something to gain, if not fees then at least the higher frequency of finding blocks that pooled mining allows as opposed to solo mining.

And please stop advertising your work so much. Your work is quite admirable, for sure (big fan, actually), and providing a link to it when applicable is perfectly fine. But it doesn't warrant posting twice in someone else's thread.

Are you dense ..

"Over a long enough period, solo mining will earn the same as pooled mining for a fixed hash rate."

Variance is deviation from expected value.  This has greater effect on shorter periods of time.


Are you human ...

Please come out from behind your technical terminology and mathematical models for a second and try to look at it from an average miner's point of view. Only time will tell which reward method wins out in terms of popularity. It may be that all pools only support PPLNS in the future, but there is also a non-zero, positive, non-negligible probability that everyone drops it because miners simply started avoiding pools with PPLNS. In the end, being the best or fairest reward method matters little if the end users are not willing to accept/adopt it. The majority is always right. We'll just have to wait and see...

Your quote had nothing to do with popularity.

Here let me show you....

"Pools do _not_ exist to reduce a miner's variance, they exist to reduce the operator's variance."

Most operators are miners too.  Pools do exist to reduce variance of miners.  Period.  If they didn't then nobody would use a pool (which might be a better thing for network security).

Quote
The majority is always right. We'll just have to wait and see...

Well no.  At one time the majority supported slavery in the US.  Didn't mean they were right.  Still if your article was on why PPLNS is unpopular you might have a point but that wasn't your claimed reason for an article. 
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