Break up or not?

Facebook researchers are trying to predict when you and your spouse will break up

A Cornell professor and a senior Facebook engineer are claiming to have developed a Facebook algorithm that can accurately identify who you’re dating and, especially for new relationships, whether you’re in danger of breaking up.

The algorithm depends on a new metric the researchers are calling “disperson,” which looks at connections between people who have different sets of friends. Close friends are likely to share a lot of friends in common, which social scientists call “embeddedness.” But people in romantic relationships tend to connect each other to different spheres: for example, a husband is likely to introduce his wife to his work friends, college buddies, and members of his kickball league, with whom she may not have any other connections in common.

Relatives may also show this same “dispersion” dynamic, the researchers say.

Dispersion turned out to be the most overall accurate metric

The researchers were able to identify who was dating whom with 60 percent accuracy, much better than the 2 percent accuracy they’d get from random guessing. High dispersion also seems to be correlated with longer relationships. The study found that couples were 50 percent more likely to break up in the next two months if the dispersion algorithm failed to guess that they were dating.

The scientists also looked at metrics such as how many times a user viewed another’s profile, attendance at the same events, and messages sent. Dispersion turned out to be the most overall accurate metric for determining romantic relationships. The researchers used multiple sets of anonymous data, including a large data set from 1.3 million Facebook users.

The study shows the enormous effort being made to crunch Facebook data into something meaningful for marketers. However, it’s easy to see where the algorithm would fail. For example, many Facebook users list fake relationships as a joke, declaring themselves to be “married” or “engaged” to their best friends. The method also assumes that you, all your friends, your spouse, and all your spouse’s friends are active on Facebook.

Of course, this is nothing new. Remember when Mark Zuckerberg wanted to predict who you would hook up with

Update, 6:05PM: A Facebook spokesperson sent a statement about the study: “The specific findings from this study are not currently being used in making News Feed a better product. It has helped the team think about things and informed some of the features we use in ranking, but we are not using the specifics in the paper.”

Read More Here…


Key Terms…
  • spouse ↔ esposo(a)
  • break up ↔ separar
  • claiming to have ↔ alegando ter
  • accurately ↔ precisamente
  • in danger ↔ em perigo
  • sets ↔ grupos
  • Close friends ↔ Amigos íntimos
  • embeddedness ↔ “incorporado/embutido”-tude
  • buddies ↔ amigos
  • kickball league ↔ kickball liga
  • Relatives ↔ Parentes
  • the most overall accurate metric ↔ o mais preciso métrico de todos
  • dating ↔ namorando com
  • accuracy ↔ exatidão, precisão
  • random guessing ↔ adivinhação aleatória
  • couples ↔ casais
  • such as ↔ tal como
  • attendance ↔ presença
  • turned out to be ↔ acabou sendo
  • effort ↔ esforço
  • crunch ↔ calcular
  • meaningful ↔ significativo
  • marketers ↔ comerciantes
  • would fail ↔ fracassaria
  • fake relationships ↔ relacionamentos falsos
  • joke ↔ piada
  • declaring themselves ↔ declarando-se
  • engaged ↔ noivado
  • hook up with ↔ “ficar com”
  • spokesperson ↔ porta-voz
  • statement ↔ declaração
  • findings ↔ resultados
  • currently ↔ atualmente
  • features ↔ recursos, ferramentas
  • ranking ↔ classificação (em termos de importância)


break up separar
The discontinuance of a relationship, as a marriage or a friendship.
She broke up with her boyfriend last week.
Tom and Mary might break up. ↔Tom e Mary poderiam terminar.
I don’t want to break up with you. ↔Eu não quero romper com você.
claiming to have alegando ter
O caminho que une Montegrande com Cochiguaz, em algum momento foi o centro das comunidades esotéricas que afirmavam ter contato com extraterrestres. ↔A road runs between Montegrande and Cochiguaz, a one-time center for paranormal communities claiming to have contacted extraterrestrials.
accurately precisamente
My watch is very accurate. ↔O meu relógio é muito preciso.
I don’t remember my father’s face accurately. ↔Não lembro com exatidão a cara de meu pai.
sets grupos
a group of people who associate together, esp a clique
buddies amigos
A good friend; a comrade.
kickball league kickball liga
dating namorando com
After eight months, he eventually started dating girls again. ↔Depois de oito meses, ele finalmente recomeçou a ter encontros com meninas.
turned out to be acabou sendo
It turned out to be true. ↔Confirmou-se.
What he said turned out to be true. ↔O que ele disse acabou virando verdade.
Accidentally, the rumor has turned out to be false. ↔Por acaso, ficou evidente que o boato era falso.
crunch calcular
“Crunch” is similar to “bite”. However, the phrase “crunching numbers/data” is used to mean working with lots of data, making sense of the information, calculating things based on the data, etc.
hook up with “ficar com”


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