Feature request: Automatic optimization of Interval modifier

p4nix's Avatar


07 Feb, 2020 08:43 AM


first of all: huge thanks for all the years of development you put into Anki. I never had the motivation to learn in school (because of laziness and the realization: why bother if you will forget it after the exam anyway?), but Anki completely changed my behaviour and probably saved my grades now in university.

So, here is an idea how Anki could become even better:
1) Optimizing the interval modifier is very important. But a lot of people do not realize this - there are people using Anki for years who still not use this option, which leads to overtesting and thus negatively affects real long-term memorization. I am of the opinion that Anki should at least spit out a warning message if the true retention is too high or too low!

2) Currently, the interval modifiers are deck based. However, the manual (and learning philosophy) dictates to put all cards into a deck, rendering the interval modifier useless. Even putting cards in different decks based on their importance is bad, since different material might be of different difficulty - which would bias the true retention towards one side or the other.

3) Adding official support to something like Hierarchical tags + saving the interval modifier on each card could circumvent this. It could make it possible for add-ons (or better, the official Anki) to
- assign different wanted retention rates to different tag groups (only allow if the sample size is large enough)
- if tags overlap, use the highest wanted retention rate
- show the user the actual retention per tag-group and add an option to optimize the interval modifier (either manually, semi-automatic or automatic)
- if no tag is assigned (but this could be forced): set the "tag-group" per deck

You might prove me wrong, but I believe this could make the Anki-algorithm way better without even directly modifiying it.

Thanks for reading,

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Damien Elmes on 08 Feb, 2020 04:26 AM

    Damien Elmes's Avatar

    Hi p4nix,

    Thank you for the detailed feedback. I currently have my hands full working on other tasks, but I will bear these suggestions in mind for the future.

  2. 2 Posted by p4nix on 14 Feb, 2020 03:23 PM

    p4nix's Avatar

    Thanks for keeping these suggestions in mind. I think making the interval modifier a more prominent (and easier to use) feature is quite important.

    Whether or not the interval modifier should remain a deck option or become a property for each card to make it possible to assign it via tags is definitely a design choice - but as I stated, I truly believe "tag-groups" to be superior.

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