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Processing Order of Individual Target Conditions

cubelodyte 01-14-15
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Processing Order of Individual Target Conditions

According to the flow chart on this support page, Targeting Conditions are checked at the top of the process.

 

What I can't tell from the flow chart is which is done first:

 

    URL Targeting or Audience Targeting?

 

I've been unit testing of the code added at the bottom of this thread. The code is an Audience Target condition that is designed to insure exclusive run of an Experiment. In addition, it drops a session cookie if the code block is going to evaluate TRUE.

 

What I'm finding is that the session cookie is dropped event if the URL target is not a match. This implies that the Audience validation occurs before the URL Targeting validation. 

 

Is this true?

 

If so, why?

 

When ordering conditions in a logical AND situation, it's most efficient to put the most exclusive conditions first because a successful match will require that all conditions be evaluated. Finding a failed condition as early as possible will ensure that each evaluation is only as long as it needs to be for the given circumstances.

 

The exception would if a condition requires a valid match of another condition. However, this is likely to correspond with a natural progression of most exclusive to least exclusive.

So, I'm assuming that you've discovered that the average Audience target condition is more exclusive than the average URL Target condition.


Either that or URL Targeting conditions are generally more resource intensive than Audience conditions.


I would think this unlikely since although both conditions allow a test author to create compound conditions, Audience conditions can be far more extensive (example: the code in my link above).

Scott Ehly
Manager of Site Optimization
sehly@rentpath.com

'The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.' - George Bernard Shaw
Brian_Abad 01-15-15
 

Re: Processing Order of Individual Target Conditions

Thanks for the feedback!

To confirm, Audiences are evaluated prior to URL Targeting. I'll reach out to our Education team to update this article to reflect this a bit more clearly.

As far as the decision making for the order of evaluation, Audiences can become very specific and more exclusive as many conditions can be included and much more customized. While URL Targeting can also be exclusive to a single page, it can also be ran site-wide. In both conditions, they both exhibit levels of exclusion and I may not be the one to speak on the reasoning for this particular order. Perhaps I can include another team member into this conversation if you are looking for more information?

Otherwise, I can confirm Audiences evaluate before URL Targeting.
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Brian Abad
Manager, Technical Support
Customer Success
Optimizely
cubelodyte 01-15-15
 

Re: Processing Order of Individual Target Conditions

 

Good point about the complexity of Audience code becomming potentially the most exclusive. 

That's sort of what I was alluding to at the end but it was all a curiosity for me. The "why" is far less important that the "what" in this case.

 

Thanks for the confirmation. 

An accurate understanding of the order will help me with some Audience code that I've been tinkering with. 

 

Scott Ehly
Manager of Site Optimization
sehly@rentpath.com

'The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.' - George Bernard Shaw