D&D.Sci September 2022: The Allocation Helm

This is an entry in the ‘Dungeons & Data Science’ series, a set of puzzles where players are given a dataset to analyze and an objective to pursue using information from that dataset.

You are the Allocation Helm, a piece of magical headwear employed at Swineboils College of Spellcraft and Sorcery. Your purpose is to read the minds of incoming students, and use the information you glean to Allocate them between the school’s four Houses: Dragonslayer, Thought-Talon, Serpentyne and Humblescrumble.

You’ve . . . not been doing a terribly good job lately. You were impressively competent at assigning students when newly enchanted, but over the centuries your skill and judgement have steadily unraveled, to the point where your Allocations over the most recent decade have been completely random.

Houses have begun to lose their character, Ofspev[1] ratings have plummeted, and applications have declined precipitously. There is serious talk of Swineboils being shut down. Under these circumstances, the Headmistress has been moved to desperate action, and performed a Forbidden Ritual to temporarily restore your former brilliance.

This boost will only last you for one Allocation, so you intend to make it count. Using the records of past years’ readings and ratings, you hope to raise this class’ average score to match or exceed the glory of yore. (And if you do well enough, you might even be able to convince the Headmistress to keep performing rituals . . .)

There are twenty incoming students this year. You may place them however you wish. Who goes where?

I’ll post an interactive you can use to test your choices, along with an explanation of how I generated the dataset, sometime on Monday the 26th. I’m giving you nine days, but the task shouldn’t take more than an evening or two; use Excel, R, Python, Haruspicy, or whatever other tools you think are appropriate. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the scenario.

If you want to investigate collaboratively and/​or call your decisions in advance, feel free to do so in the comments; however, please use spoiler tags or rot13 when sharing inferences/​strategies/​decisions, so people intending to fly solo can look for clarifications without being spoiled.

  1. ^

    The Oracle for Spellcaster Evaluations, who predicts a quantitative measure of the lifetime impact each student will have on the world shortly after they’re Allocated. (No-one knows how to make him predict anything else, or predict at any other time, or stop predicting, or be affected by the passage of time.)