IOTA
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How to properly assess the health of IOTA's tangle.

Difficulty in discerning confirmation rates

Recently I have seen a lot of discussions about how healthy IOTA's network is at any given point. Many of the conclusions argued for seem to come from a lack of ability to use existing tools and accurately tell confirmation rates. I want to take a minute to go over what factors are important to assessing the health of the network and how to get them.

What makes a healthy network

Not all transactions try to get confirmed. Some transactions place themselves too low to ever be considered for confirmation (like a block in block-chain not being placed at the top of the chain), or use tip selection methods that decrease their own chances of confirmation. Luckily these transactions do not affect the confirmation rate of transactions that are trying to get confirmed. Because of this, if you want to tell how likely it is at current for your transactions to get confirmed, you should only look at current confirmation rates of transactions that are trying to get confirmed.

https://tanglemonitor.com/ is a great tool for assessing the general health of the network. It has an "Avg. eff. conf.ratio" indicator at the top, which displays the confirmation rate of all newly received transactions older than the average time it takes to get confirmed. It also has an "Avg conf.ratio" indicator but this one is less accurate considering it includes transactions that have not had time to confirm yet (younger than the average confirmation time) into it's average.

While this website gives a good way of seeing confirmation rate of all new transactions, it does not provide a way to distinguish which transactions are trying to get confirmed and which are not. This begs the questions, how does one tell the confirmation rate of only transactions which are trying to get confirmed?

Flawed methods

So we now know not to take the confirmation % indicator of tangle-monitor at face value, and we want to only assess the confi...

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