How exactly does Spread work?

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Question

I have two significant areas in my collection: Math and Social Science. Since I am currently studying math and computer science I need to focus on the math branch and deprioritize the social science branch. Besides, the social science branch is a "nice to know for life" branch but not a high priority at any given time. I've manually lowered the forgetting index to 15% for that branch and now elements that come up in repetition are scheduled for as late as 2018 now after the repetition is complete. That is acceptable to me.

However, repetitions still come up daily. Approximately half of my workload daily is from this branch, and I want to deprioritize this knowledge such that the repetitions do not appear or at least I only receive a few elements from this branch each day, not 40-60 per day.

I was thinking of using Spread to deprioritize the social science branch but I'm not sure how it works. I read the article on Priority Queue and it mentions the Spread operation several times but it isn't clear exactly what it does to the elements to which it is applied.

Is Spread the correct way to deprioritize the branch? If not, what is a better alternative?

Answer

Spread is exactly the tool to use. For an extreme up-prioritization do the following:

  1. open the vital branch in the browser
  2. choose yellow Spread button
  3. set Minimum:Position to 1 (maximum priority)
  4. set Step to 1 (maximum crowding)

In your case, it would put all math to the front of the queue.

It is better to delay by overload (optional) than by forgetting index (mandatory). If you keep FI=10, your elements will come in faster, but will still wait at the end of the queue to see if you got extra time.

Response

So there is no need to use Spread on the non-vital branch to push it farther out? I was thinking that Spread would take the elements and "shuffle" them deeper into the timeline and thus delay their next repetition date. Are you saying it is the opposite, that Spread is used to pull elements or an entire branch forward in the timeline?

Also, can you explain these statements in more detail?

  1. It is better to delay by overload (optional) than by forgetting index (mandatory)
    1. What does this mean, "delay by overload"? I've seen overload mentioned in several help topics but it always seems to be something to avoid, so I'm not sure of the meaning here.
  2. If you keep FI=10, your elements will come in faster, but will still wait at the end of the queue to see if you got extra time.
    1. What does it mean "your elements will come in faster"? And what does it mean "will still wait at the end of the queue" and also "to see if you got extra time"? I thought the objective was always to complete all outstanding element repetitions every day. Is that incorrect?

Thank you for your help.