Inconsistent Head/Body Matching and Split Encounters

In which Wildbook did the issue occur?

What operating system were you using? (eg. MacOS 10.15.3)
MacOS Catalina 10.15.7

What web browser were you using? (eg. Chrome 79)
Chrome Version 86.0.4240.198

What is your role on the site? (admin, researcher, etc)

What happened?

This is not preventing me from making matches, but I wanted to let you guys know since it seems the system is not functioning in a consistent way.

I’ve noticed this week that some encounters match only on the head, some match for head and body on one photo (left or right side) but not the other, some match for head and body on both photos (left and right sides), and in some cases photos that were submitted together are split into different encounters.

(I’m assuming that when 2 sets of match results for one photo are returned, it’s trying to match for both body and head, even though the photos in these examples are head shots only.)

Here is an example for each scenario with similar photos:

1 set of matching results per left and right photos:
(assuming matching on the head only)

2 sets of match results for both left and right sides:
(assuming matching on head and body both)

2 sets of match results for right side but only 1 set of match results for left side:

Photos submitted in 1 encounter but split into 2 separate encounters:

If you want to see more examples I can provide them, or you can just click through encounters of NSW-0106; there’s lots of examples there!

What did you expect to happen?

Since all of the photos in these examples are very similar head shots, I thought the system would handle them all in a similar manner (either consistently include body matching, or consistently not include it). I also didn’t expect photos from a single encounter to be split into multiple, though this has been happening recently, and I’ve posted about it in another thread.

What are some steps we could take to reproduce the issue?

You could try submitting seadragon photos and see what happens, but as I mentioned the results are unpredictable. Let me know if you need more info!

If this is a bulk import report, send the spreadsheet to with the email subject line matching your bug report

I wanted to add this link as well because I think it’s a helpful way to see how many split encounters there are:

If you scroll down to the table of encounters for NSW-0106, any encounter date that appears twice is one where the photos were submitted together but then got split up by the system. Now that I’m seeing how often this is happening, it’s becoming more concerning. It gives an inaccurate picture of how many encounters there are for an individual because it essentially doubles them, but I’m hesitant to delete the split pieces since I don’t know how that might impact the system and future matching.

Thanks for your help with this, Wild Me team!

@NeridaWilson- I’m not sure how much crossover there is between these problems and the ones you’ve been having, so I posted separately, but wanted to keep you in the loop!