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One of the more popular news stories being shared around the web this week has been the story of how Chris Mc Kinlay, a mathematics Ph D candidate “hacked” OKCupid in order to find love.

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Of course, Mc Kinlay is hardly the first person to attempt to make the system work for him… Amy Webb, a digital strategist with Webbmedia Group employed a similar strategy of data mining, mathematical analysis and matchmaking algorithms to solve her own love issues. You may not be a brilliant mathematician able to write custom code to seek out your perfect – or near perfect – match…

but you can definitely crack the code and make OKCupid dance to While their methods differed – Mc Kinlay started by examining how to affect OKCupid’s match percentages while Webb was developing an algorithm to predict which men on JDate had long-term potential – their approaches were the same: both Mc Kinlay and Webb wanted to know how to make themselves more appealing to their potential online partners.

In order to do so, they both engaged in researching just what made someone desirable online through a combination of coding, A/B testing and statistical probability.

Part of OKCupid’s appeal is in the compatibility matching.

The site uses a specific compatibility algorithm based on comparing the questions answered by two possible matches, how each person hopes the person would respond and what weight they give that question.

In OKCupid, your compatibility score directly affects the visibility of your profile to other people.

The lower your compatibility with an individual, the less likely you were to show up in their searches.

Mc Kinlay, frustrated that he had such low compatibility with women in the Los Angeles area, used bots to gather information on how women answered questions and sorted them into discrete groups based on their interests.

After determining which groups were most interesting to him, he would create two profiles crafted for maximum appeal for women in those particular clusters.

and created a large data set of features that she felt were critical for long-term potential and gave them numerical values, weighted for importance.

If an individual didn’t reach a certain score, then she wouldn’t go on a date with him.

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