How to Program Love | Forum

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kimberlyjose Apr 23

Any system is imperfect. A common problem on dating sites for some young people is the lack of matches. And it doesn't matter what kind of site it is: a photo search engine or a multi-page questionnaire - it happens that there are no couples and no ones, or everything is not right and wrong. And, it would seem, it is worth giving up. But no! American mathematician and programmer Chris McKinley decided to hack a dating site to find love.


Chris is a 35-year-old lanky guy who is into programming. He was looking for his soul mate for a long time. But on OkCupid, he had almost no matches: out of 20,000 Los Angeles girls, he had less than a hundred matches, and even then he came across not the girls who interested him. The problem was the questions he chose. The topics that he filled out did not interest the girls at all, and he could not see their interests: the dating site system displayed answers only to general questions. For most users, he was "invisible" on the site. It would be possible to choose the “correct” questions and answers by the method of “scientific poke”. But why if you are a mathematician and know Python?

Chris created 12 fake accounts and wrote a script to automatically manage them. Each account randomly answered the questions posed. As a result, he was not only able to cover all the questions with different answers, but he also got access to the entire database of Los Angeles girls registered on the site. He began to use this data to build his own search model.


McKinley reduced his 20,000 audience to 5,000 based on more interesting parameters. Further, he identified 7 groups of girls, whose interests, habits and outlook on life coincided, and chose the 2 most attractive for him. The first group of girls was called "green": they were young (25 - 35 years old) and still inexperienced in relationships. The second group - "samanthas" - consisted of more mature women 35 - 45 years old. After that, 2 accounts were created, maximally "sharpened" for each group. The result amazed Chris: the number of matches with a percentage of more than 90 now numbered in the hundreds.

Before finding his soul mate, he went on 87 failed dates. However, he made a marriage proposal to the 88th girl.