Tournament Model


This year I had chance to speak at my undergraduate institution – a well recognized engineering school in Trichy, India – about various things concerning my professional development and understanding of Science, Engineering and innovation in my short career as software developer and scientist-in-training.

Primarily, my goal was to communicate the tournament model and how we may enjoy our time in educational institutions pursuing a quest for truth regardless of some of the outcomes – just because they are governed by the tournament model.

Consider your task: to pick a winner in 2-player games from a group of N (say 128 or 64 players – like a typical Tennis tournament [or teams of smaller sizes for IPL or World Cup cricket tournaments]) then goal is to organize the games as a championship format with league rounds and knock-out tournaments to eventual final which decides the winner. This is the tournament model.

An alternate version where number of teams/players participating is not a power of 2, we may setup the model as follows algorithm/pseudocode;

  1. Enter all teams/payers in a double-ended-queue [deque]
  2. Select first-2 teams in queue and let them play;
  3. Take the winner of this game and enqueue to the end of queue; discard the loser (obviously!)
  4. Now we have N-1 teams/players in the queue.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4, till number of players is 1.
  6. We have a winner!

Key insight of tournament model is the fact that small differences between entities participating in the model can be amplified by the model making winners, and effects like the Matthew effect can ensure initial advantages snowball over time [esp. in industries like entertainment, social networking etc.]

The tournament model decides frequency of India vs Pakistan cricket matches, why Nadal vs Federer is most likely grand-slam final match up; the system decides success of professional actors and actresses. Why are Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth more famous than other talented male actors of their generation (e.g. Sathyaraj, Karthik, Prabhu, etc.)[not to mention other female actresses – a whole other question]. Modern day movie star rivalries are also plenty, to wit – Danush vs Simbu etc. in their ascent to fame.

Many principles of randomness of outcomes, and regression toward mean explain the outcomes in retrospect; but none of the techniques have an ability to explain these phenomenon in a predictive manner which one may seek.

Hence as students approaching a potentially lifetime of work in field of engineering or science, I recommend everyone to aspire to understand the fundamental pieces – to learn the instruments, notes, chords, scales of their musical pieces – not just the piece itself- so in the future you can compose your own orchestral music; so that you can build tools for future challenges that you may face – surely different from challenges you were taught to resolve – using an open ended approach to learning.

Tournament model also helps you handle failures – be it product, strategy, problem areas in life. Usually, losing at something is by not making the grade or placing second or being edge out is by being marginally “less” in some way, shape or form, compared to competition.

What is your experience with managing technology projects, and their outcomes ? Leave your comment below.



Mr. B. Vijaykumar, founder of GLUG-Trichy, Zylogic, and GNU evangelist, and ChennaiPy organizer , is launching a Python conference in Chennai – PySangamam. Pre-registration is open at

Announcement follows:

From: Vijay Kumar <>
Date: Sun, May 27, 2018 at 12:52 AM
Subject: [Chennaipy] PySangamam: Tickets is Open
To: Chennai Python User Group Mailing List <>

Hi Everyone,
Early bird tickets for PySangamam, are now open! The early bird ticket is priced at Rs. 900 (Inclusive of GST). You can purchase tickets from

Do note that we have a contributor ticket priced at Rs. 5000 (Inclusive of GST). As a contributor, you can take pride in making the conference more accessible to students. Your contribution will go towards providing discounted tickets to students. You will also be credited on the conference website.

Chennaipy mailing list

I had pleasure of participating in Chennai Python meetup in March, 2018; their technical audience is high-level and very sincere in their attempts to understand and communicate in regards to your material. Highly recommended to attend this event.



India A.I. task force report

Indian government Ministry of Commerce has released a report on the developing A.I. related tooling, technologies, marketplaces and workforce – read more here

The AI Taskforce also has a website

At this time I do not have an analysis on this report itself; but it does seem like India is trying to (in principle) catch up with other nation states.

செம்பு, Toms River, தூத்துக்குடி

Citizens and residents of Toms River, NJ, USA, have a higher incidence of cancer directly attributed to the causative agents by untreated industrial effluents dumped into their groundwater.

The journalist Dan Fagin, wrote a self-titled book laying out the details of the problem and its aftermath – personally for an unfortunate few, and legally from lawsuits to compensate for suffering of the people – all stemming from the negligence of the industrial overlords. You can read more about his book here. It got 2014 Pulitzer prize for non-fiction.

Close to town of Karaikudi (Ramanathapuram/Sivagangai District) we know of stories of neighboring villages polluted by a certain public-sector petro-product company etc. But despite court-orders they continue to be functioning with little respite for the citizens.

I see what is happening in Thoothukudi right now as an effort to raise awareness of higher than random incidence of cancer most-likely attributed to past Sterlite unsafe practices; people are coming together to literally save their livelihoods and need assurances and updated practices and concrete buy-in before questionable practices can be allowed to continue.

Our computers – interconnects, microprocessor chips, IC’s in appliances like microwave oven, toaster etc, smart phones, lines of telephone wires, and cable TV’s need copper. We have to find a way to extract it safely and dispose off the effluents in internationally agreed safe processes, and continuously monitor the neighboring areas for contamination of ground-water, air and other environmental hazards. Up until that point it should be a no-go.

People of Tamilnadu deserve their voices heard. Tamil people have written on Copper – செப்பேடு – now we don’t want our fates written by Copper. Surely this can’t be too much to ask!




iMessage troubles with Telugu language display

I’m somewhat late to hear this news, but recently there was a bug in iMessage application of iOS and Mac platforms causing it to crash/freeze up as reported here.

The crashing character consists of 5 codepoints.


and has a complex ligature form.

Sadly the poor usage of Telugu language Unicode block is potential cause to discover the bug so late; however the root cause of bug is some unsightly buffer overflow in Apple’s codebase.


Who knows if Tamil Unicode has any equivalent horrible bugs living in Android/Apple/Mac/Linux/Windows platforms. Hopefully not.

காதல் -> தவம் – பாகம் 2

விடை: சொல் ஏணி (word-ladder games ) என்பன காதல்-இல் இருந்து தவம் வரை மாற்ற உதவும் – இதை காண்க.

  1. அதாவது, ஒரு அகராதியை கொண்டு, முனை-ஓரம் படம் அமைக்கவும்.
  2. இரு சொற்கள் ஓரத்தால் இணைக்கப்பட்டால், அவை ஒன்ருடன் ஒன்று ஒரு எழுத்து மாற்றம் வழி தொடர்புடையது என்று அர்த்தம்.

இதை கொண்டு ஏற்கனவே ‘காதல் -> தவம்‘ எழுதினோம்.

மேலும் இந்த ஆய்வுக்கட்டுரை அழகாக உள்ளளது – (கட்டுரை) ‘Word Morph and Topological Structures: A Graph Generating Algorithm’, Jürgen Klüver, Jörn Schmidt, Christina Klüver, (2016), Complexity, Vol. 21, No. S1. Wiley Publications.


மக்கள் செல்வன் 25 – சொல் தேடல்

மக்கள் செல்வன் சொல் தேடல்

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 2.13.54 PM

சொல் தேடல்

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 7.15.15 PM

Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 7.15.33 PM

விடைகள் தேவையா ? ஈசிதாங்க! நீங்களும் முயற்சிக்க இங்கு


காதல் -> தவம் ?

எப்படி “காதல்” என்ற சொல்லை, ஓர் எழுத்து மாற்றத்தினால் மட்டுமே, “தவம்” என்று மாற்றுவது ?


இதனை எப்படி கண்டடைந்தோம் ?. இதனை எப்படி கணினிமயமாக்கலாம் ?


Chennai Python 24th, March, 2018

24th March, 2018,  Chennai Python Meet-up

Open-Tamil and Ezhil-Language Projects

“எழில் என்பது முதல் திர மூலமாக கிடைக்கக்கூடிய தமிழ் ஸ்கிரிப்டை அடிப்படையாகக்
கொண்ட நிரலாக்க மொழி ஆகும், இது விண்டோஸ் 32, 64 மற்றும் Ubuntu, Fedora Linux மற்றும் Docker தளங்களில் 2017 ஆம் ஆண்டில் வெளியான எழில் ஒரு பைத்தான்-அடிப்படையிலான மொழிஇயக்கி. வளர்ச்சி GitHub வழியாக நடைபெறுகிறது.

திறந்த-தமிழ் தமிழ் நெருக்கமாக தொடர்புடைய தமிழ் மொழி செயலாக்க கருவிகள் கொன்டது; நூலகம் ஆரம்பத்தில் எழில் மொழியின் ஒரு கீற்றாக துவங்கியது; ஆனால் விரைவாக வார்த்தை-வடிகட்டுதல், N- கிராம் பகுப்பாய்வு, புணற்சசி இலக்கணம், தமிழ் எழுத்துப்பிழை சொல்திருத்தி உருவாக்கம் முதலியன, பல மொழிகளில் பைத்தான், முக்கியமாக, ஜாவா, ரூபி முதலியவற்றிற்கான தமிழ் தொகுப்புகள் பரிசுரம் செய்யபட்டன். வலையில், மற்றும் Play Store இல் Kalsee பயன்பாட்டில் எங்கள் வேலைகளை பயன்படுத்தலாம்.”



Thanks to kind arrangements of friends in Chennai Python, and open-tamil community I had an opportunity to make a presentation on Open-Tamil and Ezhil-Lang projects, and completion. Talk was well received, and delivered in unique Tamil mixed with English due to comfort of being in Chennai only!

open-tamil -conference articles (2014, ’16, ’17)

Thanks to our co-authors and open-tamil collaborators [Shrinivasan, Arulalan, Sathia Narayanan, among others], we were able to submit 3 articles to INFITT conferences in 2014, 2016, and 2017 respectively.

This year too with some luck we hope to make it to the TIC 2018. We are in process of drafting another article for upcoming 2018 Tamil Internet Conference in Coimbatore, India, to report additional developments from our team. We will be having a somewhat larger author list to properly acknowledge contributors – old and new.

At this time for our own review, we recollect the prior three research articles published about open-tamil (in chronological order) they are:

  1. “Open-Tamil text processing tools,” (2014) Tamil Internet Conference at Puducherry, India : here (Aug, 2014)
  2. “Developments in Open-Tamil library,” (2016) Tamil Internet Conference at Dindugul, India : here (2016)
  3. “Tamil open-source landscape: opportunities and challenges,” (2017) Tamil Internet Conference, UT-Scarborough, Toronto, Canada : here (June, 2017)


San José, CA