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Will I Like This Book? Predictor

Recommend Site Improvements

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1sundancer
Nov 9, 12:46pm Top

I was wondering how the predictor on LibraryThing works. How exactly does the system calculate if I will like a book or not? For example, I have rated one of the best books I've ever read Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold as five stars and put it on my favorites shelf but when I clicked "Will I Like This Book?" LibraryThing thinks I probably won't like it (prediction confidence: very high).

So how does the algorithm work? Just curious.

2rolandperkins
Edited: Nov 9, 2:00pm Top

I have wondered the same (1). I have given up
asking the "Will I like" question; the answer has ALWAYS been "No".

I was given an explanation, something to do with the criteria in the way that comparison(s) used by the System are made, which I didnʻt really understand.

3norabelle414
Nov 9, 12:55pm Top

Here's the original blog post from when the feature debuted: http://blog.librarything.com/main/2009/01/will-you-like-it/

4rolandperkins
Edited: Nov 9, 5:07pm Top

Thanks for the link (3), norabelle414. I get the idea somewhat better now, not that I agree with it. Especially the phrase about the importance of popularity in the
comparisons. In general, the books that Iʻve listed* are not high in the popularity ratings, so I suppose that would lead toward the negative answers Iʻve been consistently getting.

*The collection is about 90% "Wish List", but does have over 1,000 titles actually owned

5lorax
Nov 9, 3:14pm Top

No, no, no.

What matters is how popular the books are *among people with libraries similar to yours*, compared to in the population as a whole.

If 50% of all LT members have Harry Potter, but only 5% of your most-similar libraries do, then it will predict that you won't like Harry Potter. Conversely, if only 5% of all LT members have Pride and Prejudice, and 50% of your most-similar libraries do, it will predict that you will like it.

6rolandperkins
Nov 9, 4:30pm Top

"popularity". . . "No, no. no" (4>5)

I donʻt think my post (4) rates a triple "no", but thanks, lorax, for clarifying what use the system makes of popularity.

7MarthaJeanne
Nov 9, 4:50pm Top

I have seen some really off results, but also a lot that are spot on. If everything else about a book makes me think that I will/will not like a book, I don't bother with this, but if I am feeling unsure, I will look and see what it says before making up my mind.

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