Right now the long term scheduler avoids scheduling related cards (e.g. vice
versa) on the same day.
The near term scheduler (i.e. when you just use grades 0 and 1) works
differently: as soon as you memorised the first card of a vice versa pair, the
next card of the pair is scheduled right away.
Are you happy with this behaviour, or would you prefer that the near term
scheduler also tries to postpone seeing the second card to the next day?
When I memorize a card for the first time, can you send all the other
closely related unmemorized cards to the end of the learning card pool
*for this session only*? For example, say I have four cards entered in
the following order:
When I learn "vice", Mnemosyne re-orders the remaining queue as follows:
But if I close Mnemosyne, ending the current session, the next time I
start Mnemosyne it reverts to showing unmemorized cards in the order of
I also want to add that I dislike the way default Anki hides unmemorized
cards after you learn 20 cards in one day. I prefer that Mnemosyne never
hide any cards from me unless I ask it to hide them.
David A. Harding Website: http://dtrt.org/
1 (609) 997-0765 Email: da...@dtrt.org
It stops after 20 cards by default because many people new to SRSes
are excited about their new found study tool, learn many new cards in
the first day or two, and then get bogged down with a mountain of
reviews and give up. You have the option of increasing the daily limit
from the first screen you're presented with, and you also have the
option of clicking 'learn more' if you decide you want to keep
I agree that many new SRS users give up and that a mountain of reviews
dispirits even long-time users, but do you have any proof that many new
users give up *because* they had a mountain of reviews?
OK, and how exactly do you want to change that behaviour? It looks to me like
what you are describing is exactly "send all the other closely related
unmemorized cards to the end of the learning card pool *for this session
Would you be happy if 'versa' was only shown for the first time the next day?
Also note that as soon as you start giving a grade to a card, it will become
randomly intermixed with the other cards.
Do you include new and abandoned accounts in your statistics?
As indicated in the quote above, the example was an example of the
desired behavior. I'm glad it looked exactly like my one-sentence
> Would you be happy if 'versa' was only shown for the first time the
> next day?
I don't want Mnemosyne to hide any cards from me unless I tell it to
hide them. If I run out of other unmemorized cards, I want to see
"versa". If you do make Mnemosyne hide some cards by default, I'd
appreciate if you add an option to show them.
Strangely enough, it is also the current Mnemosyne behaviour :-) But as I
mentioned before, you will never be able to observe this cleanly, as grade 0
and 1 cards are always randomised.
> > Would you be happy if 'versa' was only shown for the first time the
> > next day?
> I don't want Mnemosyne to hide any cards from me unless I tell it to
> hide them. If I run out of other unmemorized cards, I want to see
That would indeed be the plan: if the only cards that are unmemorised are
actually the related cards that were postponed to tomorrow, show them now.
Also, many people don't bother to change the default. Which brings me to my
next question: which values of 'grade 0 cards to hold in your hand' do people
Whoops! I knew it sounded like a good idea. :)
> That would indeed be the plan: if the only cards that are unmemorised
> are actually the related cards that were postponed to tomorrow, show
> them now.
Sounds awesome. That has my vote.
I sometimes adjust it to suit the subject, but I use 15 the most often.
> I can't speak for others, but I fell behind over a couple of weeks,
> only doing 50-100 of the ~200 reviews scheduled each day. When it got
> to about 1500 due cards, I finally lost any remaining motivation and
> stopped studying. That was about 4 months ago, and I've been using
> srses for over 4 years.
> So I would say that there is a strong chance that others, especially
> newbies, have fallen into the same trap.
> Even at 12 new cards per day, the reviews creep up to well over 100 a
> day within a few months, and if answering a card takes 20 seconds (eg
> scribbling Chinese chars on a tablet), you're talking 30-60 min
> sessions daily. If you take a week off, that's four hours of backlog.
> I'd recommend a clear limit for new cards daily as Anki does, tweaked
> by the user conservatively, so they don't get proportionally bogged
> down 6 months later and quit. When I return, I'll probably only take
> on 5 or 6 new cards a day to avoid burnout again.
Interesting observation, thanks!
It's easy to add a warning + explanation when you reach e.g. 10 new learned
cards. I'd prefer this more gentle approach as opposed to a hard limit where
you forbid people to go on.
On a more personal note, I've been using (the predecessor of) Mnemosyne since
2003, learning roughly 5 cards a day. I'm now at 175 scheduled cards a day on
average, and 8500 cards in my database. There is still plenty of stuff I want
to learn, and if I keep up what I think is this steady, gently pace, I could
be at 350 reps daily in 5 more years...
This very long term aspect is definitely something that needs thinking about,
either by making a more thorough analysis of the logs and tweaking the
algorithm, or by pruning the cards in my database.
Here's the way I was looking at it, as summarized by Sherlock Holmes
in "A Study in Scarlet":
"You see," he explained, "I consider that a man's brain originally
is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such
furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every
sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be
useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot
of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands
upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what
he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools
which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large
assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to
think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to
any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every
addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It
is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts
elbowing out the useful ones."
At first I thought Holmes was being too pessimistic, but there is a
sense in which he's right---you can only remember so many "things",
even with spaced repetition. After that you spend too much time
reviewing cards every day.
Now, if I only wanted to review, say, 50 cards every day, then I was
hoping that I could still have 10K cards in my deck. This corresponds
to a 0.5% (=50/10K) "review rate". But Peter has a review rate of
175/8500 = 2%, which seems pretty high to me. In order to determine
how big my practical mental attic is, it seems useful to know whether
achieveable review rates are more like 2% or 0.2%.
I realize it's probably all about how hard the things are (e.g. most
people have a vocabulary of 10000+ words, and they manage to remember
them without any software at all) but perhaps in practice users'
long-term review rates cluster in a narrow band.
----------------- Original message -----------------
From: Peter Bienstman <Peter.B...@ugent.be>
Perhaps the reason why I have so few reviews (given the size of my
collection) is that nearly all of my cards are very easy and only take a
few seconds to review each, and thus I miss very few. In any case, I
would be hesitant to change the standard algorithm; if something were to
be changed, perhaps a way to more naturally postpone and spread out a
pile of overdue cards would be best.
Nice quote, thanks!
> I realize it's probably all about how hard the things are (e.g. most
> people have a vocabulary of 10000+ words, and they manage to remember
> them without any software at all) but perhaps in practice users'
> long-term review rates cluster in a narrow band.
The answers to these questions lie locked in the data we've collected. Once
2.0 is out the door, I hope to have more time to look at those then.
Ghent University, Dept. of Information Technology
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41, B-9000 Gent, Belgium
tel: +32 9 264 34 46, fax: +32 9 264 35 93
> Perhaps the reason why I have so few reviews (given the size of my
> collection) is that nearly all of my cards are very easy and only take a
> few seconds to review each, and thus I miss very few. In any case, I
> would be hesitant to change the standard algorithm;
That is definitely not the idea here.
> if something were to
> be changed, perhaps a way to more naturally postpone and spread out a
> pile of overdue cards would be best.
That is in fact already there: Mnemosyne presents you with the most urgent
cards first and takes the lateness in the the review into account when updating
the intervals. The only thing which is not there is 'cheating' with the
scheduler counter to limit it to a certain number of cards. But this is purely
cosmetic aspect and does not require a change to the scheduler itself.
FWIW, I'm at 1.8% myself. But I'm a little unclear here; I thought the
idea of spaced repetition was that the review rate would decrease over
time. So wouldn't the question really be 'how long would it take to
hit 0.2%?' and not 'whether'?
I will hit any low number, *provided* you don't add new cards in the
I think you're better off setting a time limit instead of a card limit.
For example, I use Mnemosyne in 30 minute increments. If I still have
reviews left after 30 minutes, I congratulate myself on getting started
and happily move on to another task.
A: 1mo, 3mo, 6mo, 1yr, 2yr, 3yr, 5yr, 7yr, 10yr ...
B: 1mo, 3mo, 6mo, 1yr, 1yr, 1yr, 1yr, 1yr, 1yr ...
I would think that pattern B is more plausible than A---eventually
memory would peak. In fact, as a person reaches middle age and
beyond, wouldn't their memory deteriorate?
I'm wondering about this because one reason I use mnemosyne is because
I'm 30 now and I'd like to remember a lot of the stuff I remember
"naturally" now when I'm 60. I'd assume just retaining what I have
now is going to be harder and harder as I age.
----------------- Original message -----------------
From: Peter Bienstman <Peter.B...@ugent.be>
Right now the algorithm does behave like A. Whether that is the best way on a
30y time span, nobody knows, but that's one of the things I hope to find out by
collecting stats. I'm in it for the long run :-)