5024 10-Spliced Surprise Major ("Rob Special")
Composed by Mark B Davies
10 Methods: 576 Bouchavesnes (O), Bristol, Cornwall, Queen Camel; 512 Tavus; 480 Lower Beeding; 448 Rook and Gaskill, Venusium; 416 Hanwell (A), Henley. ATW, 129 COM.
23456 M B W H 42356 - QC. 54326 - CVCCAO.CRL 54263 - - V.TRHH. 46253 - - QLH.QCTT.BBR 65432 - RO.LVCQ 53624 - LLT.O (32546) - RO. 32465 - - LBB.CC. 26354 - BHHHL.BBVV 43652 - - BT.BLQHL. 43526 - - TTOLOH.OQQLQQ. 24536 - BOLOBT.B 43265 - BHVBB.QCTB 45362 2 - A.VLQ.BRROQA. 63254 - - BHV.ACTR.A 52436 - - OAAV.OQCC.T 34625 - - A.AAHQQA.A 26543 - - OTH.CCQCACL.T 64352 - 2 VVROV.RVRHO.T.VRROQ 23456 - - R.LOTCQOT. Contains: 72 5678/8765 19 6578 153 LB4
The publication of my "Renaissance" series on ringing-theory generated some follow-up discussion, including a request from Rob Lee for a more disparate set of methods, emphasing music over familiarity. Rob gave examples of James College, Queen Camel and Cadmium Surprise Major, but unfortunately these proved difficult to fit into the existing Renaissance series without losing music.
I investigated other methods which I thought might be suitable, but whilst there was some improvement at lower numbers, generally this evaporated at the 10-spliced level. So eventually I changed tack, and decided to rebuild the composition from the ground up, using automated suitability testing of every method in the rung library.
The idea behind this "batch composition" approach is to take as input the entire rung method collection, and run the search once for each method, sorting the results to find the best. It turns out the stochastic tunnelling algorithm is a miracle worker for this job, able to judge the suitability of a method (if not find the absolute best composition) with just a few minutes run-time.
I still needed to reduce the Surprise Major collection from 5500+ to a number more tractable for my batch process. So first I excluded methods which failed the "Rob Eligibility Criteria": a dynamic line, high music potential, and different front/back works, and even leadhead orders, to the other methods. This left me with 200-300 methods to pump into the batch composer, and in this way I gradually built up the composition, adding in the "best" methods one-by-one. There were many blind alleys to negotiate, but the result is this new composition.
In addition to Bristol, Cornwall and Venusium from the original composition, the following methods were selected:
5024 Spliced Surprise Major (The Milne Ten)
Composed by Mark B Davies
10 Methods: 576 Eeyore, Heffalump, Tigger; 544 Owl, Winne The Pooh (W); 480 Kanga, Piglet; 416 Christopher Robin (C), Rabbit (A), Roo. 136 COM, ATW.
23456 M B W H 56342 2 HTC.TWE.HCT 62345 2 2 - OO.TWHC.OPH.A.PPCRER. 24365 - - CTKPP.AACHH.W 63425 - - 2 EWW.AHOPRA.AKPO.KE. 43265 - - - PPCTO.CH.W. 43652 - - W.TE. 54326 - 2 AAWK.AAT.EH. 42563 - RETEP.KWOC (26354) 2 - T.OPEETTC.CH. 62453 2 2 EPHR.EH.KRRW.REWKTC. 34256 - - OOWKORA.KOW. 45236 2 WKR.WKKT.T 65432 - - CRER.TETR.A 24536 2 2 ET.KPPHO.E.A.HW 42635 - - 2 OH.OPH.WK.KE. 23456 - HO.HO
Contains: enough music to hum along to.
Composed in March 2013 in response to a request from Jeremy Warren on ringing-chat, this contains all ten "A A Milne" methods, and is ATW.
The production of a composition with good method balance and ATW was challenging with this pre-selected set of methods. In the end, carefully-tuned scoring parameters coupled with additional squeezing by the genetic and greedy algorithms hit the target.