Originally Posted by piperclassique
It's fun, but John Donne and Lilian Jackson Braun next to Ngaio Marsh? i have to çonfess to bafflement here.
It also sometimes returns a title instead of an author.
They don't explain their methodology, at least anywhere I stumbled into. But I think they may be going by information they gain from how people use this interface:
You'll notice that, on the linked page, they tell us to enter authors only, not titles. I'll then bet that's where the titles come from.
Hypothesis: Extremely few people going to the web site enter the name of John Donne, so if one or two people mistake him for someone else, their database is messed up.
Even in theory, I don't see how the site can work, because when you enter the author's name, the computer has no idea which aspect of that author's work you liked. Was it the physical setting typical for the author(s) you named? The religion of the characters? The historical time in what the novel is set? The tone? The genre? IMHO genre tends to be weighted too high. On the other hand, recommendations sometimes cross the fiction/non-fiction boundary, so over-attention to genre isn't always the problem.
I suppose that if even a quarter of the recommendations are helpful, the site is helpful.