Monday, 31 July 2000
Forecasting is difficult, especially when it's about the future. I received that bit of wisdom years ago from a Simon Goede, my manager in those days.

It sounds a bit vapid, but it does have a nucleus of truth. Making predictions is hard, exactly because the future is yet unknown. Every week I try to forecast the Amsterdam Stock Exchange Index (AEX). Most of the time it's quite successful, like last week. And sometimes I'm completely wrong, so no guarantees for this or any other future weeks.

Snake Diagram For the AEX I use a snake diagram, for which I was inspired by diagrams from the (www.studyweb.com/...). Inside chaos there is a hidden order. So, chaos is not chaotic. It is a deviating order. The investment snake obviously goes rond in circles, counter clock wise. Have a look for yourself and discover patterns in your own stock portfolio.

It's kind of a sport for me to discover such a deviating order in what looked like chaotic series. Past and future share one and the same order. Recognise the order and you'll be able to make a well founded prediction for the future.

Somewhere during the past weeks I tried to download a bit of free software. That was not easy. In the contrerary, it was quite disappointing. It kept my repaired laptop busy for hours. When will this download end? Yes, look and see: a future that is hard to predict.

The download screen includes a countdown, with an estimation of the remaining download time: 3 hours and 56 minutes. The series of successive measurements, see textfile, didn't give me much hope. The progress was bad and the estimations proved to be unreliable. In the beginning the remaining time even went up quickly to 4:25. It fluctuated around 5 and a half for some time, and decreased after that.

It seemed that there was very little structure. Order was hard to find. Hm, but this might hide a deviating order too?

Estimated end times of download It took me some time to shape it into an appealing diagram. Finally, I ended with a simple line graph:

  • Vertically the estimated end time, running from top to bottom.
  • The horizontal axis shows the current time.
  • The red line shows the expectations, the various estimations of the end time. The download time starts with drawing out. The line descends steeply. Around noon the prediction gets more reliable, starts to run horizontally.
  • The green line is time itself, coming down with a constant speed of 60 minutes per hour, until the download is over.
  • The horizontal (and vertical) distance between the red and the green line is the estimated remaining time.
Hm, cute little graph, if I may say so. It nicely shows the hidden order. There is a clear L shaped curve in the red line. So this chart is useful for predicting the future. Would it serve to reliably plan prolonged It projects as well? Try it and keep me posted on the results.

Till next week!