This morning I was enjoying a bit of Good Clean Family Christmas TV You Can Trust and one of the subjects covered was a new Danish board game that you could spend your Christmas vacation playing. It's called Match! and here I will try to outline the rules as I understand them:
- Each player has 3 game cards with a picture of something on their hand.
- A picture is shown to all players and they now has to match that picture with one of the pictures on their hand.
- In the example shown on the TV there was a picture of some sausages on a grill. The example matches of the three players where:
- Danish politician Pia Kjærsgaard - both she and the sausages represent something very danish and something they'd like to put on a grill!
- A used roll of toilet paper - related to a different kind of "sausage"!
- A crowd at a musical festival - a place where you'd love to eat a grilled sausage.
The matches themselves where not the best I've seen but they do point out an important feature of a good matching engine: Using simple similarity checks is not enough. You need to understand not only the spelling, phonetics etc. of the things you are trying to match, but also the semantics. Of course a good example of this in Denmark is our country's biggest company: "Maersk", which can rather easily be matched with "Mærsk" but it's more difficult to get the synonym "A.P. Møller" into the matching rules except if you hardcode it somehow. And if matching goes beyond just names other associative matching rules might apply.
Well... Can't wait to play Match! It sounds like a fun game and it will definately be in the back of my head to try and record some of the interesting heuristics applied there.