02 November 2014

Try, try again...

The results are in, and our predictions performed reasonably well on average (we averaged 4% off per candidate). Ward by ward predictions were a little more mixed, though, with some wards being bang on (looking at Tory’s results), and some being way off – such as northern Scarborough and Etobicoke. (For what it’s worth, the polls were a ways off in this regard too.) This mostly comes down to our agents not being different enough from one another. We knew building the agents would be the hardest part, and we now have proof!

Regardless, we still think that the agent-based modeling approach is the most appropriate for this kind of work – but we obviously need a lot more data to teach our agents what they believe. So, we’re going to spend the next few months incorporating other datasets (e.g., historical federal and provincial elections, as well as councillor-level data from the 2014 Toronto election). The other piece that we need to focus on is turnout. We knew our turnout predictions were likely the minimum for this election, but aren't yet able to model a more predictive metric, so we'll be conducting a study into that as well.

Finally, we'll provide detailed analysis of our predictions once all the detailed official results become available