Spam filter study - which ones work?

Written by Ryan Garside

August 3, 2006 | 12:24

Tags: #filter #spam #video

Nobody likes Spam, except maybe these guys, and we all look for the best ways to stop it polluting our online experience. Dr.Gord Cormack has used the fact that 90% of all our emails are spam as motivation to go out and methodically test a huge amount of spam filters to discover which ones are really the most effective.

His movie, a massive 473mb, documents his research and is available for download over on this site. He sets up this intriguing research with an interesting description, naming it “Spam Filters: Do they work and can you prove it”:

“Do spam filters work? Which is the best one? How might filters be improved? Without standards, one must depend on unreliable evidence, such as subjective impressions, testimonials, incomparable and unrepeatable measurements, and vendor claims for the answers to these questions.

You might think that your spam filter works well and couldn't be improved. Are you sure? You may think that the risk of losing important mail outweighs the benefit of using a filter. Could you convince someone who holds the other opinion? If I told you that my filter was 99-percent accurate, would you believe me? Would you know what I meant? Would you be able to translate that 99-percent into the risk of losing an important message?

Gord Cormack talks about the science, logistics, and politics of Spam Filter Evaluation.”

So head on over and grab his movie then let us know whether you agree with his results in the forum.
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