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ProZ Find™ search tool (alpha): speed improvement, search-by-location improved
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:54
SITE FOUNDER
Jun 15

Hi folks,

As some of you know, development is ongoing (alpha stage) in ProZ.com's new freelancer search tool, Find™. Improvements have been made in the last week to its speed, and to the option to search by location. You can now enter a city name and distance, to limit your search to freelancers in a given area. (The option to click the map already existed.)

As you might guess from the name, the URL for ProZ Find™ is https://www.proz.com/find

By the way, work continues on the new Find "best match" sorting algorithm. For now, in the alpha stage, the default method used for sorting professionals is the same as that of the classic directory. (That is, sorting is based largely on KudoZ points.)


Evelio Clavel
 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Rather odd sorting algorithm Jun 15

Henry Dotterer wrote:

By the way, work continues on the new Find "best match" sorting algorithm. For now, in the alpha stage, the default method used for sorting professionals is the same as that of the classic directory. (That is, sorting is based largely on KudoZ points.)


I looked up a "Find" search I saw in my visitors' tab, just out of curiosity. Number one is me (although I believe this is too flattering), number two has 12 KudoZ points, number three none. I didn't go further... In the classic directory there were very different names and the whole situation seemed to be more veridical. As an active ProZ member I think I should know more than one name on the first page (which appears to be the only page, by the way....), shouldn't I?

Surely there must be something going wrong icon_confused.gif


Mirko Mainardi
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Let's get it veridical Jun 15

Christel Zipfel wrote:
I looked up a "Find" search I saw in my visitors' tab, just out of curiosity. Number one is me (although I believe this is too flattering), number two has 12 KudoZ points, number three none. I didn't go further... In the classic directory there were very different names and the whole situation seemed to be more veridical. As an active ProZ member I think I should know more than one name on the first page (which appears to be the only page, by the way....), shouldn't I?

Surely there must be something going wrong icon_confused.gif

Veridical is a new word for me, but it seems like a good one. Achieving veridicality in the new algorithm is a current focus. Let's look into the case you raise, if you are willing. What's the link?


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Here is the link Jun 15

Henry Dotterer wrote:

Veridical is a new word for me, but it seems like a good one. Achieving veridicality in the new algorithm is a current focus. Let's look into the case you raise, if you are willing. What's the link?


https://www.proz.com/find?st=1&q=&sl=ita&tl=deu&nit=y&nl=deu&lpe=3&f=137&v=h&sort=kp&rpp=25

Thank you, Henry, for looking into it.


 

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 13:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bad data + bad SQL = non-veridical results (always!) Jun 15

Regardless of how “good” your algorithm is (or how much “better” it may be when you’ve finished fiddling with it...), it will never produce meaningful results if the underlying data is incorrect (for whatever reason, deliberate or otherwise) and for as long as (some of) your basic database queries already generate demonstrably false results.

I mentioned a not entirely unrelated example earlier today, here: https://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/325651-airbrushed_out_of_the_charts_prozcom_team_full_leader_list_will_be_made_accessible_again-page3.html#2734255
where someone who has not participated in Kudoz since June 2010 is number 27 in today’s (June 2018 – eight full years later) “last 3 months” leader board in the Spanish to English pair.

If you can't get that bit of simple SQL right, what hope for the fancy things you're trying to do with Find?

RL


Mirko Mainardi
Katalin Horváth McClure
Katalin Szilárd
mughwI
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
How now, Christel? Jun 15

Christel Zipfel wrote:
https://www.proz.com/find?st=1&q=&sl=ita&tl=deu&nit=y&nl=deu&lpe=3&f=137&v=h&sort=kp&rpp=25

Thank you, Henry, for looking into it.

How are the results now?

There were some discrepancies that affected that (and other) searches, but the results should be much like they are in the classic directory.

Please let us know if you notice anything else.


 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Robin Jun 15

Robin Levey wrote:

I mentioned a not entirely unrelated example earlier today, here: https://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/325651-airbrushed_out_of_the_charts_prozcom_team_full_leader_list_will_be_made_accessible_again-page3.html#2734255
where someone who has not participated in Kudoz since June 2010 is number 27 in today’s (June 2018 – eight full years later) “last 3 months” leader board in the Spanish to English pair.

Thanks, we'll fix that.

... what hope for the fancy things you're trying to do with Find?

I know by now that you are a critic of the objectives of Find. But I think that in the end, if you give an honest assessment, you too may agree that it is an improvement.

So please just give it a minute.icon_smile.gif


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Still unknown names but one Jun 16

Henry Dotterer wrote:

How are the results now?

There were some discrepancies that affected that (and other) searches, but the results should be much like they are in the classic directory.

Please let us know if you notice anything else.


Very little has changed. You will notice yourself that the search results of the classic directory look quite different, and indeed, I know ALL the names in this list.

And furthermore, it's quite unlikely that there is only a handful of native speakers in this pair.


Mirko Mainardi
 

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 11:54
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Sort is working in the same way... but there is a difference in search default parameters Jun 16

Christel Zipfel wrote:

Very little has changed. You will notice yourself that the search results of the classic directory look quite different, and indeed, I know ALL the names in this list.

And furthermore, it's quite unlikely that there is only a handful of native speakers in this pair.

Thanks again for exploring this topic with me.

Since your experience is different than mine, we are obviously looking at searches that are somewhat different. The discrepancy/confusion may be coming from the fact that some default parameters are different in Find than what they were in the classic directory.

The link you gave, shows that you were seeing a list created using these parameters:

- Service: Translation
- Pair: Italian to German
- Italian to German should be one of the top three pairs in the translator's profile
- Native language: German
- Field of expertise: Telecommunications
- Telecommunications should be marked as a "specialty" field in the translator's profile

In Find, this search produces nine members, sorted as follows:

(1) Christel Zipfel
(2) Christina Stuettgen-Williams
(3) Vanessa Kersten
(4) Sara De Luca Clemann
(5) Markus Sammer
(6) Heike Fetting
(7) Katrin Egli
(8) Anette Hirschhäuser
(9) BoenschM

Given the same search parameters, the classic directory yields eight results, as follows:

(1) Christel Zipfel
(2) Christina Stuettgen-Williams
(3) Vanessa Kersten
(4) Markus Sammer
(5) Heike Fetting
(6) Katrin Egli
(7) Anette Hirschhäuser
(8) BoenschM

The only change is that Sara De Luca Clemann appears in Find, whereas she is not appearing in the classic directory. (We have not yet determined why.)

At any rate, our guess is that you were unaware that in Find, the system defaults to these parameters:

- Language pair should be among the translator's top 3 (in classic, it is top 8)
- Field of expertise is marked "specialty" (in classic, it can be either "specialty" or "working")

Does this explain? Do you see how the sort is working in the same way now?


 

TargamaT team  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 18:54
Member (2010)
English to Arabic
+ ...
I can not find my profile in find Jun 16

I already pointed that I can not find my profile in the search...

If I do En, Fr, or De > Ar I can not find TargamaT team in the list...

For example: https://www.proz.com/find?slwz=eng&tlwz=ara&nl_wz=target&st=1&q=&sl=eng&tl=ara&nit=y&lpe=3&rpp=25


 

Robin Levey
Chile
Local time: 13:54
Spanish to English
+ ...
Where's the necessary intelligibility and stability? Jun 16

Henry Dotterer wrote:
At any rate, our guess is that you were unaware that in Find, the system defaults to these parameters:

- Language pair should be among the translator's top 3 (in classic, it is top 8)
- Field of expertise is marked "specialty" (in classic, it can be either "specialty" or "working")

Does this explain? Do you see how the sort is working in the same way now?


And that, Henry, is one of the (multiple) reasons why “Find” is not much use (if any).

When I pick up a copy of the Yellow Pages to find someone to fix the leak under the sink, I (think) I know exactly what I need – a plumber (or perhaps a dishwasher-fixer…). I also know how to find a plumber in the YP – there’s a list of trades/professions, each with a dedicated section in the YP, and within the “Plumbers” section I will find a straightforward alphabetic list of plumbers, with enough other detail (e.g. geographical location, contact info) to decide who to call first, and who are my second and third choices if the first one is too expensive, unavailable, or whatever. There’s often a bit of extra information which might help me focus on dedicated professionals as distinct from fly-by-nighters (e.g.: pro service providers might go to the expense of boxed entries, so they stand out in the crowd), or mention that they also repair dishwashers (hey - put that guy at the top of the short-list!).

The point I want to make here is that making proper and efficient use of the YP is easy – because:
- The YP “algorithm” is straightforward, easy to understand – and obvious to any moderately literate user without recourse to a user guide.
- The YP delivers essentially “neutral” information, in an essentially “service provider driven” fashion (within a simple YP-designed structure), leaving the user to decide how to exploit that information on the basis of his/her own personal understanding of the task needing to be accomplished, and the role of the YP in that process.
- The YP “algorithm” is static – like the Proz “classic” Directory has been for 16 or more years (according to an earlier post on the subject that I can’t find right now).

In contrast:
- “Find” does not have a publicly known “algorithm”. Hence, neither service providers nor potential clients can possibly decide how to make optimum use of it.

- “Find” introduces an opaque “algorithm” that stands between the service providers’ information and the “task needing to be accomplished”, in the apparent belief that this “algorithm” can make the potential client’s task of making an ordered short-list of providers easier and/or in some way “better”. What this “algorithm” does, in effect, is over-ride the user’s understanding of the precise task at hand with a one-size-fits-all Prozian understanding of that task, on the basis of an assumption that you can do that better than the user can - even though you are not standing in the kitchen with water up to your knees at 3AM on a Sunday morning.

- The “Find” “algorithm” keeps changing and (according to another earlier post, that I can’t find now either) it will continue to be adapted while you monitor how people use it. You seem to be engaged there in a development/tweaking exercise bearing much resemblance to a vicious circle – and precious little to the long-term stability that makes the YP so useful and reliable.

RL


Michele Fauble
Katalin Horváth McClure
mughwI
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:54
Member
English to Italian
Business membership Jun 16

TargamaT team wrote:

I already pointed that I can not find my profile in the search...

If I do En, Fr, or De > Ar I can not find TargamaT team in the list...

For example: https://www.proz.com/find?slwz=eng&tlwz=ara&nl_wz=target&st=1&q=&sl=eng&tl=ara&nit=y&lpe=3&rpp=25


You're a "business member", which I believe means you're considered a "company", not a freelance translator...

And in fact I can see you in the directory of "Translation agencies & companies": http://bit.ly/2tfiJfw


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The reliability of the underlying data Jun 17

Robin Levey wrote:

Regardless of how “good” your algorithm is (or how much “better” it may be when you’ve finished fiddling with it...), it will never produce meaningful results if the underlying data is incorrect (for whatever reason, deliberate or otherwise) ...


Yeah, exactly. That is one of the reasons why I find the "native" checkboxes a joke. I just did a search in a certain language pair and 90% who were listed as native are in fact, not natives. I was laughing when I looked at the list. They declared themselves native in both languages, but they are only native in one of them.
If I were an outsourcer, trying to rely on ProZ to find the "best match" for my needs, I think I would appreciate it much more if ProZ spent time and effort on verifying claims of credentials, etc. (the reliability of the underlying data) rather than trying to invent an algorithm to predict what my needs and wishes are likely to be.

Katalin


Mirko Mainardi
Katalin Szilárd
Michele Fauble
mughwI
Sheila Wilson
 

TargamaT team  Identity Verified
Syria
Local time: 18:54
Member (2010)
English to Arabic
+ ...
TargamaT team Jun 17

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

You're a "business member", which I believe means you're considered a "company", not a freelance translator...

And in fact I can see you in the directory of "Translation agencies & companies": http://bit.ly/2tfiJfw



Thank you, this is the issue, we are a team of translators and for this reason we buy a business subscription... We should downgrade our subscription if we do not have the choice to figure in the freelance translators list.

[Edited at 2018-06-17 16:00 GMT]


 

Christel Zipfel  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
You are right! Jun 17

Henry Dotterer wrote:


At any rate, our guess is that you were unaware that in Find, the system defaults to these parameters:

- Language pair should be among the translator's top 3 (in classic, it is top 8)
- Field of expertise is marked "specialty" (in classic, it can be either "specialty" or "working")

Does this explain? Do you see how the sort is working in the same way now?


Your guess is right, Henry: I was not aware indeed of the different search parameters as I referred to a link that, like I wrote, I saw in my visitors' tab and I didn't notice those details. This explains of course (nearly) everything. Sorry and thank you for your patience!


 
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