The show Silicon Valley and Weissman Score

Film&TV

A fictional metric, used to measure the efficiency of data compression in the TV Show Silicon Valley, has become a reality.

The show Silicon Valley deals with four guys attempting to turn a compression algorithm far better at compressing videos than anything else out there into a startup. The creator of Silicon Valley, Mike Judge, wanted to make the show as believable as possible for which, he worked with Tsachy Weissman, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford and Vinith Mishra, a Ph. D student to not only devise the fictional compression algorithm, but a metric to measure the efficiency of compression algorithms.

The resulting metric, The Weissman Score named after the professor, provides a compression rating for the algorithm that’s run through it. The lower the compression rating, the better the algorithm.

While it’s difficult to practically implement the algorithm at present, researchers have started using the score in their research papers. A researcher at the North Carolina State University plans to update his research paper with Weissman Scores whereas two professors teaching at the University of Santa Barbara, California and Stanford plan to include this score in their classes.

The Weissman Score

Given how much movies and TV shows are criticized for their incorrect and at times, horrendous depiction of technology, this is a welcome step forward. A perfect example of real-life imitating or seeking inspiration from art.

And, there’s an actual website for the metric as well. The official website of The Weissman Score allows you to obtain the Weissman Score

 

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