Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Love connection: Advice for online daters

Date:
December 5, 2013
Source:
University of Iowa
Summary:
Most online dating users don’t choose a potential mate the same way they choose a movie to watch, but new research suggests they’d be more amorously successful if that’s how their dating service operated.

Most online dating users don't choose a potential mate the same way they choose a movie to watch, but new research from the University of Iowa suggests they'd be more amorously successful if that's how their dating service operated.

Kang Zhao, assistant professor of management sciences in the Tippie College of Business, and UI doctoral student Xi Wang are part of a team that recently developed an algorithm for dating sites that uses a person's contact history to recommend more compatible partners. It's similar to the model Netflix uses to recommend movies users might like by tracking their viewing history.

Zhao's team used data provided by a popular commercial online dating company whose identity is being kept confidential. It looked at 475,000 initial contacts involving 47,000 users in two U.S. cities over a 196-day span. Of the users, 28,000 were men and 19,000 were women, and men made 80 percent of the initial contacts.

Zhao says the data suggests that only about 25 percent of those initial contacts were actually reciprocated. To improve that rate, Zhao's team developed a model that combines two factors to recommend contacts: a client's tastes, determined by the types of people the client has contacted; and attractiveness/unattractiveness, determined by how many of those contacts are returned and how many are not.

Those combinations of taste and attractiveness, Zhao says, do a better job of predicting successful connections than relying on information that clients enter into their profile, because what people put in their profile may not always be what they're really interested in. They could be intentionally misleading, or may not know themselves well enough to know their own tastes in the opposite sex. So a man who says on his profile that he likes tall women may in fact be approaching mostly short women, even though the dating website will continue to recommend tall women.

"Your actions reflect your taste and attractiveness in a way that could be more accurate than what you include in your profile," Zhao says. Eventually, Zhao's algorithm will notice that while a client says he likes tall women, he keeps contacting short women, and will change its recommendations to him accordingly.

"In our model, users with similar taste and (un)attractiveness will have higher similarity scores than those who only share common taste or attractiveness," Zhao says. "The model also considers the match of both taste and attractiveness when recommending dating partners. Those who match both a service user's taste and attractiveness are more likely to be recommended than those who may only ignite unilateral interests."

While the data Zhao's team studied suggests the existing model leads to a return rate of about 25 percent, Zhao says a recommender model could improve such returns by 44 percent. When the researchers looked at the users' profile information, Zhao says they found that their model performs the best for males with "athletic" body types connecting with females with "athletic" or "fit" body types, and for females who indicate that they "want many kids." The model also works best for users who upload more photos of themselves.

Zhao says he's already been contacted by two dating services interested in learning more about the model. Since it doesn't rely on profile information, Zhao says it can also be used by other online services that match people, such as a job recruiting or college admissions.

Zhao's study, "User recommendation in reciprocal and bipartite social networks -- a case study of online dating," was co-authored by Mo Yu of Penn State University and Bo Gao of Beijing Jiaotong University. It will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal "IEEE Intelligent Systems."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Iowa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kang Zhao, Xi Wang, Mo Yu, and Bo Gao. User recommendation in reciprocal and bipartite social networks -- a case study of online dating. IEEE Intelligent Systems, December 2013

Cite This Page:

University of Iowa. "Love connection: Advice for online daters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205102158.htm>.
University of Iowa. (2013, December 5). Love connection: Advice for online daters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205102158.htm
University of Iowa. "Love connection: Advice for online daters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131205102158.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Google To Protect Against Piracy ... At A Cost

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Google is changing its search-engine results to protect content producers from piracy — for a price. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins