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How does MATLAB Answers break ties among answers?

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In a recent question, with no votes for any of the answers, I found some answers jumped around all over the place for no apparent reason while others stayed where they were. How does MATLAB Answers order questions with the same number of votes?

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Accepted Answer

Randy Souza
Randy Souza on 11 Apr 2011
The accepted answer is always listed first.
After that, answers are sorted by the number of votes, then by when the answer was created (oldest-to-newest).
This can cause "jumping" when an older answer is voted up to have the same number of votes as a younger answer. For example:
Answer 2 is listed above answer 1 because it has more votes.
+--------+-------+---------+
| Answer | Votes | Created |
+--------+-------+---------+
| 2 | 2 | 00:01 |
+--------+-------+---------+
| 1 | 1 | 00:00 |
+--------+-------+---------+
Answer 1 receives a vote, and appears to jump over answer 2 because, even though they now have the same vote count, answer 1 is older.
+--------+-------+---------+
| Answer | Votes | Created |
+--------+-------+---------+
| 1 | 2 | 00:00 |
+--------+-------+---------+
| 2 | 2 | 00:01 |
+--------+-------+---------+

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Andrew Newell
Andrew Newell on 11 Apr 2011
Walter, before I posted this question I searched the wish-list page for anything related to this subject and didn't find your comment! The page has become too large to be useful.
Andrew Newell
Andrew Newell on 11 Apr 2011
Randy, I am accepting this answer on the assumption that you will align the behavior as you described in the comment above.
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 11 Apr 2011
Ah -- after the above-noted answer was voted up 1, and no longer appears in the 0 votes portion, it now appears in the middle of the pack of 1 vote answers, with older answers on each side of it.

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More Answers (1)

Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 10 Apr 2011
Experimentally:
The newest answer with 0 votes and no comments, goes to the bottom, but once another answer comes in or the new answer gets 2 comments, the answer gets placed with the rest of the answers with 0 votes, with those answers sorted with the "most active" one first. I haven't pinned down what "most active" is, but answers with newer activity are generally considered "more active" than older ones... it gets fuzzy after that.

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Andrew Newell
Andrew Newell on 11 Apr 2011
I meant, if none of the answers have votes (my question is specifically about the tie-breaking mechanism).
Andrew Newell
Andrew Newell on 11 Apr 2011
My impression was that the Accepted answer is always at the top. Have you seen an exception?
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 11 Apr 2011
I _thought_ I had seen a case where the Accepted answer was not on top. I had a look about half an hour ago and could not find any posting for which that applied. The answers that had enough votes to have potentially overcome the 4-point acceptance advantage all turned out (in the ones I looked at) to be accepted answers.
I can only recall one Question in which several people felt strongly that the Accepted answer was not the best answer, but I no longer remember the details.

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