I am pondering particular feature request, but before diving deep into polishing its presentation and details, I would like to understand whether the change it would require is technically feasible at all.

I wonder if it is technically possible to implement a different aging factor for Programmers questions depending on the amount of answers in these? About as follows:

  • hotness score of questions having 0 to 4 answers ages away exactly as of now
  • score of questions having 5 to 9 answers decays a bit faster than above
    say, calculated as if it started aging away earlier
  • score of questions having 10 or more answers decays another bit faster than those with 5 to 9

FWIW, I would like to stress that I am interested to learn whether this is possible to implement at Programmers, not network-wide. As far as I understand, the problem I am thinking about addressing doesn't make an issue eg at Stack Overflow (priority -17 there).

In case if it matters, here's a rough sketch of the feature request mentioned above. Due to extended exposure to wide SE network, hot questions tend to attract certain amount of low quality answers. These answers would better be (and eventually are) removed, but due to limitations in moderation power and inadequate flagging system removal takes quite a lot of time. This slowdown in removal coupled with the way how hotness formula inflates score depending on amount of answers causes hot questions stick in the list longer than it could be in case of timely removal. If the aging decay of questions is adjusted to account for that, this would unblock other entertaining / interesting questions of our site and allow them to enter hot list.

1 Answer 1


It is technically feasible, when adjustment involves data that is available at the moment when hotness score is calculated.

If the adjustment involves only AnswerCount, it's easy to implement, taking into account that current formula uses it anyway:

(MIN(AnswerCount, 10) * QScore) / 5 + AnswerScore
         MAX(QAgeInHours + 1, 6) ^ 1.4

As an example, adjustment to lower part of the formula (age factor) can look like this:

(AnswerCount < 5 ? MAX(QAgeInHours + 1, 6)
    : AnswerCount < 10 ? (QAgeInHours + 3)
    :  ? (QAgeInHours + 5)) ^ 1.4

Feature request based on above submitted at MSO: Make hot questions with multiple answers age away faster on smaller / subjective-ish sites.


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