[Spambayes] Habeas marked email

Tony Meyer tameyer at ihug.co.nz
Mon May 10 02:44:19 EDT 2004

> Just found the Habeas related buttons in the experimental 
> configuration page and am wondering how habeas marked mail is 
> used.  Presumably SpamBayes weights it towards 'Ham', but 
> what happens then?

SpamBayes treats it as just another token (or nine tokens, depending on the
second option), which might be towards ham or might be towards ham,
depending on the presence of habeas headers in mail you've trained on.  If
the message has nine valid habeas headers, you've trained ham and no spam
with nine valid habeas headers, then that'll be nine more strong ham clues
for that message.  If, on the other hand, habeas headers are equally likely
in ham and spam for you, then the clues will be neutral.  Note that it'll
churn out a different clue depending on whether the header is valid or not
(so valid headers could be ham clues and invalid headers spam clues, for

> I normally read my email with just 'Normal' headers visible, 
> so I wouldn't see the Habeas headers so would be unlikely to 
> report Habeas abuse to Habeas.com.

The way SpamBayes uses the headers doesn't really lend itself to reporting
abuse, since it's not obvious when this occurs (there's no "I think this is
spam, but it has the habeas headers" message, for example).

However, if a spam has the headers, and they are strong ham clues for you,
then it might be more likely to end up classified as unsure/ham.  In this
case, you'd look at the clues SpamBayes generated, see the habeas tokens,
and realise that you need to report it as abuse.

If you do end up turning these options on, it'd be great to hear back
whether you feel they helped at all.  Since they're an experimental option,
they're fairly likely to disappear in the first post-1.0 release, since they
haven't really demonstrated that they make a significant improvement to
results (habeas headers just aren't that widely used).  Feedback from users
would help when making the decision whether to cut the option or not.

=Tony Meyer

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