Neighbors feature does not work correctly


#1

I still find the Neighbors function exasperating. It may not be a particularly important feature, but it’s interesting enough for me to see what other people allegedly have tastes similar to mine. I send out friend requests mostly on this basis.

Here are some things I’ve observed. Bear with me.

ICM claims to determine one’s 25 “Neighbors” via a complex mathematical formula (https://www.icheckmovies.com/help/faq/#how-are-my-neighbors-calculated). And yet, simply visiting another person’s profile page automatically makes him/her a “Neighbor.” Why is this?? This wrecks the whole concept. Who says visiting a person’s profile means you feel an affinity with him? Maybe he just writes stupid comments and you wonder about his background. Another quirk I’ve observed that’s actually good: visiting an established Neighbor’s page makes his Neighbor value (your number of shared films, etc.) get immediately re-calculated. So, that bear this in mind as you continue reading.

OK, every few weeks (?), the Neighbors get re-calculated and you’re given a fresh set of 25 neighbors. I don’t know about other people’s experiences, but this list of neighbors is ALWAYS wrong for me. Every time I’m given a revised set of neighbors, there are five names at the top who don’t belong: users “siriuslymovies,” “Scheffel,” “TotalVertigo,” “Iain_S” and “Vinther1991.” They don’t belong, because I know from experience that visiting these five profiles makes their Neighbor value get re-calculated and, then, their “percentage” compatibility with me drops sharply. Do other people see these names over and over, or is it just me? The “siriuslymovies” factor is especially ridiculous, because ICM repeatedly concludes that I have 100% compatibility with him.

Beyond the problem of these five names who wrongly appear over and over, the rest of the names aren’t correct either. Because I’ve tested this. Since visiting a new profile makes that person become an automatic Neighbor with a corresponding percentage compatibility, I’ve found that some profiles should be in my top 25 and aren’t.

The above gibberish may be confusing, so let me just lay out some hard data.

Yesterday, the 25 Neighbors were re-calculated. And here is whom I was wrongly given. I’m not giving most of my Neighbors’ names, because it’s not necessary.

siriuslymovies: 100%
Scheffel: 51%
TotalVertigo: 46%
Iain_S: 43%
Vinther1991: 41%
User A: (further names and percentages don’t need to be cited)
User B
User C
User D
User E
User F
User G
User H
User I
User J
User K
User L
User M
User N
User O
User P
User Q
User R
User S
User T

Now, if I simply visit those first five profiles, their values are re-calculated and the order immediately becomes this instead.

User A
User B
User C
User D
User E
User F
User G
User H
User I
User J
User K
User L
User M
User N
User O
User P
User Q
User R
User S
User T
Iain_S: 33%
Vinther1991: 28%
Scheffel: 27%
TotalVertigo: 27%
siriuslymovies: 18%

Look at how those percentages plummet! The top five becomes the bottom five, and they’re well below the percentage of User T. The problem seems to mostly lie with the calculation of two people’s shared favorites. For instance, visiting siriuslymovies’s profile and getting his value re-calculated meant my shared favorites with him dropped from 163 to ONE. With TotalVertigo, the shared favorites dropped from 152 to 26. Scheffel drops from 267 to 54. Etc. So…something is very buggy with the Favorites tallies.

Also: In recent times, puzzling experiences led me to explore whether the remaining 20 Neighbors truly deserved to rank. So, I briskly visited the profile pages of the top 1000 ICM users. This means the top 1000 people all were added to my Neighbor list, and ranked accordingly. By doing this, I’ve found some other names who SHOULD be among my top Neighbors. So, I’ve jotted down the names of several users who often get overlooked by the Neighbor calculations. Revisiting those profiles last night meant several names were inserted into my top 25. So NOW, my top 25 changes to this:

User A
User B
User C
User D
User E
User F
User G
User H
User I
User J
***User AA
User K
User L
User M
User N
User O
***User BB
***User CC
***User DD
***User EE
***User FF
***User GG
***User HH
***User II
***User JJ

So, what’s the bottom line? This: The site calculations give me 25 Neighbors and, at most, only 15 of them (Users A through O, above) are correct. I say “at most” because there’s the possibility that someone outside the top 1000 also deserves to rank in my top 25.

Don’t others observe similar problems?


#2

Wow, thanks for your great analysis!

The neighbors function is, to say the least, not good. What amazes me in particular, is that there is a difference between the background neighbor calculation and the one when you visit a profile. They should be the same. I will be looking in to this as soon as possible.

Furthermore, the neighbors calculation is one of the things that will be rewritten once the new design is finished.


#3

I wonder if inactivity figures into this somehow? Do dormant profiles get “Neighbor’ed” less? Because User AA above hasn’t checked a movie in over 5.5 years. User FF hasn’t checked in 13 months, and User GG hasn’t checked in 2.5 years.


#4

Interestingly I experience the same problem with “siriuslymovies” and “scheffel” as the original poster. I also have allegedly a very high compatibility with siriuslymovies, 89% and 52 favourites, but if I visit the profile it’s actually only “very low” and 1 favourite. With Scheffel it’s allegedly average (35% with 64 favourites), but actually “low” with 14 favourites. So I guess there may be a bug with those very profiles.

The same problem I have with “rmartel14”: allegedly 82%, but actually “very low”.

Apart from those, the highest compatibility I have with anyone is 39%, average. Is that normal? Or do I have an unusual taste in movies?

I’d also like this feature to work correctly, since I find this kind of analysis very interesting.


#5

I have the same problem with “rmartel14” off and on, yes.

And my #1 Neighbor just happens to have 39% compatibility as well. Just a guess, but I suspect this number is lower than average if you’ve checked off a lot of “unofficial” items.


#6

With the latest update, it’s up to eight miscalculated Neighbors out of 20.

The original list
siriuslymovies: 100%
rmartel14: 100%
Scheffel: 51%
TotalVertigo: 45%
Iain_S: 43%
Ymermis: 43%
Vinther1991: 41%
Person A
Person B
Person C
sonomanstereo: 39%
Person D
Person E
Person F
Person G
Person H
Person I
Person J
Person K
Person L

After visiting the above profiles
Person A
Person B
Person C
Person D
Person E
Person F
Person G
Person H
Person I
Person J
Person K
Person L
Iain_S: 34%
sonomanstereo: 30%
Vinther1991: 28%
Scheffel: 27%
TotalVertigo: 26%
siriuslymovies: 18%
Ymermis: 17%
rmartel14: 8%

Why the rankings change after visiting those profiles
Iain_S: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 275/23 to 178/9
sonomanstereo: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 151/11 to 87/6
Vinther1991: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 149/5 to 54/5
Scheffel: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 279/11 to 56/5
TotalVertigo: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 155/8 to 25/8
siriuslymovies: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 177/6 to 1/6
Ymermis: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 119/21 to 12/0
rmartel14: shared Favorites/Dislikes drop from 103/1 to 0/0


#7

After the latest update today, I have the following “fake neighbors”:

siriuslymovies
rmartel14
Ymermis
Scheffel

All four are also in Ebbywebby’s list of miscalculated neighbors.


#8

The problem has not changed in the meantime. I still have all four of them among my neighbours, although the actual compatibility is “very low”.


#9

I have nine miscalculated Neighbors in the latest update. Listing the names, along with their compatibility percentages before and after visiting their pages.

siriuslymovies 100% —> 18%
rmartel14 99% —> 8%
Scheffel 50% —> 27%
sonomanstereo 45% —> 30%
TotalVertigo 45% —> 25%
Ymermis 45% —> 17%
Dr. Benjamin Twist 42% —> 32%
Vinther1991 40% —> 28%
psychonaut 39% —> 16%

I don’t have a problem with “Iain_S” this time, but this is the first time I can recall having a problem with “Dr. Benjamin Twist.”

I wish this bug would get fixed. I’ve “manually” deduced what seems to be my top 25 Neighbors just by visiting the top hundreds of profiles and forcing their compatibility to be calculated, but it’s a silly thing to do. (My top Neighbor is actually “Dieguito,” at 39%.)