Can you help add value to MatchBot's activities?

+14 votes

Hi! MatchBot (WikiTree-4) automatically seeks out duplicates and proposes merges. MatchBot has always relied on the profile manager or someone else to check that the proposed merge is good or not. With the recent WikiTree change to the search function to include name variants, that human check is more important than ever.

Did you know that you can check your watchlist for MatchBot-proposed merges? That's what I'm asking everyone to do -

  • go to this page (which shows proposed merges by MatchBot)
  • click "[My Watchlist]" (the second option in the first row)
  • do what's appropriate for any pairs listed or
  • give yourself an "atta-boy" if the list is empty :D

If you'd like to help monitor MatchBot's activities beyond your own watchlist profiles, please join the MatchBot Monitors Project. See this page for more info.


in Requests for Project Volunteers by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (529k points)
I recently had my first MatchBot proposed merger. The problem was that a maiden name was compared to a married name. Dates were the same, but all other factors were clearly different. I'm not bothered about name variations -- always useful as I've found many folks under variants of their names -- but wonder whether it wouldn't be possible to add in a few additional checks if the information appears on the profile, e.g. name at birth versus current name, if one or more parent is named comparing these ... I know it's a lot of work, but perhaps it would go some way to improving the MatchBot so that its hit rate was better.
Yay, I get an attagirl!

2 Answers

+7 votes
Instead of this bot initiating a merge between goodness knows who, I don't know why it can't just make suggested matches and rely entirely on people to propose merges IF the match is good.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (261k points)

Gillian - MatchBot proposes merges, which I don't consider the same as initiating a merge. I consider it a way of making a suggested match. So... not sure what your proposing be changed.

If you define "suggested match" as an "unmerged match"... that's not really appropriate. Profiles should be set in an unmerged match when more research is needed to determine whether or not to reject them (or merge them). The person putting them in the unmerged match should be undertaking that research. Since MatchBot isn't a person, having MatchBot set pairs in unmerged matches will only exacerbate the problem of the humongous* unmerged match list (see this page... you can check for ones on your watchlist by then clicking [My Watchlist]).


 * I just checked a few pages of unmerged matches starting either end (oldest & most recent) - more than 100 pairs for oldest, and I was still in 2012; more than 100 pairs for most recent, and I had only gone a couple days (June 20).

Gillian - I just saw what you were referring to about MatchBot initiating a merge! At the bottom of a profile, in the merge section, it's the link for the creating a pending option ([initiate a merge]). I never noticed that before.

And I just completed a merge that MatchBot had proposed for someone in my tree last night (before my computer crashed). When I restored my browsing session, that match had the message:

A proposal to merge Sarah Noland and Saryah Noland was approved by MatchBot WikiTree and Sharon Winsatt. The merge was completed on Jun 23, 2016.

This also explains how some folks have gotten the impression that MatchBot is approving merges. In the "Browse Matches" list where I found the pair, it showed only that Sharon had approved the merge & that someone from the trusted list of the other profile needed to approve it (I was able to complete it because it had gotten the 30-day default approval).

Cheers, Liz
MatchBot's other job is doing the 30-day approvals
I forgot about that, and didn't even consider how it would show up on a merge. Thanks RJ!
Thanks, RJ.  That explains it.
+7 votes

Is there any way to have Matchbox restricted to just matching names with same spelling instead of allowing it to propose merges with "surname variants" that have been added to our search list. 

I believe this is causing more problems then resolving the duplicate issues on WikiTree and more work for those watching matchbox instead of maybe finding sources or helping in so many other areas that need attention. 

I mean this morning I found proposes for West and Jones: James and Jones: and Johns and Jones: merges that just don't make any sense to me. Thanks for considering  this "in my IMHO".  I would not want to see a proposed merge with a Burr, or Bray, or Bair that is listed on my surname variants!!!

by Dorothy Barry G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)
Thank you Dorothy for your suggestion. I wholeheartedly agree. If newbies are confronted with these variant names it could lead to considerable confusion.

Thanks for pointing those out Dorothy. And Thanks Becky for rejecting them!

I've been on the MatchBot Monitors Project for under a month, and although the glaringly wrong ones are annoying, they're easy to spot & most people reject them with confidence when they see them. For those bizarre pairings that aren't rejected by others, MatchBot MPs catch & reject pretty quick. And we're see the oodles of good merges proposed by MatchBot that wouldn't have been found without MatchBot's help. Restricting MatchBot to same name would lose far more than it would gain, IMHO.


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