Skip to main content

Tinder and the Marriage Model

Tinder is a recently launched dating app that is gaining huge foothold in the UK, US, and elsewhere. What sets it apart from other dating applications and websites is its simplicity: it tracks the user’s location by GPS, links to their Facebook account, and from there, extracts enough profile information to generate a list of “compatible” partners. All of this can be done on the go, since the app interface is friendly and geared towards mobile users. Finally, the app is considered to be more secure than its online dating counterparts, since a user can only receive contacts from those whose profiles he/she has “liked”.

Tinder is essentially a manifestation of the stable marriage model, with some minor differences. For each man or woman, the app generates a set S of partners, which essentially comprises of anyone within a specified geographic range of the user. To some degree, S is ranked, as it lets a user know how many mutual friends or common interests he/she has with each member of S. From there, the user can filter out partners and choose the acceptable ones in priority, by specifying age and other factors. Of course, the set of acceptable partners generated is optimal when a user reports her true information. Once all users have their set of acceptable partners- partners with whom they’re willing to be paired- blocking pairs cannot exist in the market simply due to “human nature” (the final matching returned must be stable). A man m, for example, will want to pair up with w’ instead of w if he likes w’ better and also knows that he is among the top on w’’s preference list. A decentralized deferred acceptance algorithm is used to select the final stable matching: m will receive a number of offers, and will choose the one he likes best. All rejected partners will be ‘freed’ and will propose to the next m’ in their priority lists, and so forth. In this process, an interesting quality of Tinder to note (that attracts many users) is the fact that rejected users are never notified of being rejected; they simply are not paired up with their priority choice.







Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.