Mathias Brandewinder on .NET, F#, VSTO and Excel development, and quantitative analysis / machine learning.
by Mathias 13. December 2008 19:24

Dilbert is one of my favorite comic strips ever. Besides being consistently very funny, it is also surprisingly insightful. Today's strip is an excellent illustrations of why diversification alone is not necessarily sufficient to reduce risk: one has to account for correlation between the assets.  

 

Dilbert.com
by Mathias 11. December 2008 16:58

Apparently, VSTO Power Tools have been around for a while (Feb 02), but if I had not read this article, I would have missed them - which would be too bad, because they are awesome. The Power Tools consist of a few dlls, which, while not officially supported, have been released by Microsoft developers.

I started playing with the Excel Extensions, and I love it; it is a "very thin wrapper to the Office primary interop assemblies", which essentially gives you cleaner methods to access the Excel object, with type safety, and without the clumsy "Missing.Value" arguments. More...

by Mathias 7. December 2008 20:42

The November issue of msdn magazine has a nice piece by Dr. James McCaffrey on determining a best option from a list of choices. It's an interesting departure from his usual topic, testing, and it proposes a discussion and implementation of the Schultze method. As far as I remember, Arrow's impossibility theorem demonstrates that

no voting system can convert the ranked preferences of individuals into a community-wide ranking while also meeting a certain set of reasonable criteria with three or more discrete options to choose from.

Therefore, I have to assume that there are limitations to this method. If I have time, I'll try to figure out in what cases these show up. However, the exposition of the problem is worth reading.

by Mathias 4. December 2008 07:53

Great post on the Excel blog, explaining from start to finish how to set up a shortest path problem using Excel, and how to use the solver to identify the optimal solution.

by Mathias 2. December 2008 09:26

I have been a bit frustrated by the sometimes erratic behavior of the code formatter that ships with Blogengine.Net. It works well for C# code, but I still couldn't figure out why it totally garbled my attempt at VB code. So I was happy to see a post from a credible source titled "Best Code Syntax Highlighter for Snippets in your Blog". Turns out, after looking at the comments, I am not convinced yet I have found the Holy Grail of code formatting, but on the other hand, it triggered me to try out Windows Live Writer; and indeed, Hanselman has a point - why haven't I used it before? It's just so much more comfortable!

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