Wednesday, March 7, 2012

eHarmony revealed its "secret sauce".

Yesterday, I was testing eHarmony Japan (not live yet) with dummy profiles and I had discovered a valuable information from the following screenshot.

I used Google translate tool and it says "99.7% of eHarmony's members will not be introduced to you", i.e. only 0.3% of members will be shown as a compatible partner for you; that is the power of eHarmony's matching algorithm (the effectiveness/efficiency of the matching algorithm.)

0.3% means:
3 persons per 1,000 persons screened.
30 persons per 10,000 persons screened.
300 persons per 100,000 persons screened.
3,000 persons per 1,000,000 persons screened.
30,000 persons per 10,000,000 persons screened.

30,000 persons per 10,000,000 persons screened is the population of a small city!!!
(eHarmony claimed 12 million persons/profiles in its database as for 2012)

There is also a comic about that situation: "Zack Hill's mom joins eHarmony"
Lois: Are you telling me that out of all these guys, you didn't like one?
Jan: I did not.
Lois: This is like the phone directory for a small town!
Jan: The town of LoserVille.


eHarmony Japan uses a 5 step questionnaire which is similar to eHarmony Canadian, U.S., U.K., Australian and Brazilian sites,  they use the Big 5 to assess personality of daters.
Step #1 Basic information. (8% of the whole questionnaire)
Step #2 Self-introduction including personality traits assessment.  (45% of the whole questionnaire)
Step #3 Values and Attitudes in Human Relationships.  (21% of the whole questionnaire)
Step #4 Interests and Skills.  (20% of the whole questionnaire)
Step #5 Your Ideal Match.  (6% of the whole questionnaire)

Yes, you think well, the "secret sauce" is empty, the algorithm is performing as placebo, as a machine gun shooting flowers.

Since several years ago I had been saying:
Actual online dating sites offering compatibility matching methods are only fueled by big marketing budgets and not by serious scientific evidence. No one ( eHarmony, Chemistry, PerfectMatch, PlentyOfFish Chemistry Predictor, MeeticAffinity, Be2, RewardingLove, Parship, True, etc) can prove its matching algorithm can match prospective partners who will have more stable and satisfying relationships than couples matched by chance, astrological destiny, personal preferences, searching on one's own, or other technique as the control group in a peer_reviewed Scientific Paper. They are all like placebo, because
* Actual online dating sites offering compatibility matching methods, when calculating compatibility between prospective mates, have less or at least the same precision as searching on one's own. [in the range of 3 or 4 persons compatible per 1,000 persons screened]
* That is because they use:
a) simplified versions of personality traits, instead of the 16PF5 or similar with the complete inventory (16 variables)
b) inadequate quantitative methods to calculate compatibility between prospective mates, like eHarmony which uses Dyadic Adjustment Scale or other sites which use multivariate linear / logistic regression equations o other equations.

Latest Research in Theories of Romantic Relationships Development shows: compatibility is all about a high level on personality* similarity* between prospective mates for long term mating with commitment.
*personality measured with a normative test.
*similarity: there are different ways to calculate similarity, it depends on how mathematically is defined.

I had reviewed over 55 compatibility matching engines intended for serious dating since 2003, when I had discovered "the online dating sound barrier" problem.

Breaking "the online dating sound barrier" is to achieve at least:
3 most compatible persons in a 100,000 persons database.
12 most compatible persons in a 1,000,000 persons database.
48 most compatible persons in a 10,000,000 persons database.
100 times better than Compatibility Matching Algorithms used by actual online dating sites!

The only way to achieve that is:
- using the 16PF5 normative personality test, available in different languages to assess personality of members, or a proprietary test with exactly the same traits of the 16PF5.
The ensemble of the 16PF5 is: 10E16, big number as All World Population is nearly 7.0 * 10E9
- expressing compatibility with eight decimals, like The pattern is 92.55033557% +/- 0.00000001% similar to the pattern
Using a quantized pattern comparison method (part of pattern recognition by cross-correlation) to calculate similarity between prospective mates.

That is the only way to revolutionize the Online Dating Industry.

All other proposals are .............. NOISE

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