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Basically what's documented here:

http://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/11602/what-formula-should-be-used-to-determine-hot-questions

We have a few tweaks:

  • Succeeding questions from the same site are penalized by increasing amounts. So, the first question from SO in the list gets multiplied by 1.0, the second by 0.98, the third by 0.96, etc)

  • We make a per-site traffic adjustment so SO does not dominate the entire list

  • The benefit of many answers is capped at 10

  • We only degrade based on question age, and not the last update date on a question, so questions don't pop back up to the top every time they're edited

  • Views are not counted towards the score

The core of the formula (without the site-based degrading or traffic scaling) is:

(MIN(AnswerCount, 10) * QScore) / 5 + AnswerScore
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         MAX(QAgeInHours + 1, 6) ^ 1.4