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User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction

, Volume 19, Issue 1–2, pp 65–97 | Cite as

Unsupervised strategies for shilling detection and robust collaborative filtering

  • Bhaskar Mehta
  • Wolfgang Nejdl
Original Paper

Abstract

Collaborative filtering systems are essentially social systems which base their recommendation on the judgment of a large number of people. However, like other social systems, they are also vulnerable to manipulation by malicious social elements. Lies and Propaganda may be spread by a malicious user who may have an interest in promoting an item, or downplaying the popularity of another one. By doing this systematically, with either multiple identities, or by involving more people, malicious user votes and profiles can be injected into a collaborative recommender system. This can significantly affect the robustness of a system or algorithm, as has been studied in previous work. While current detection algorithms are able to use certain characteristics of shilling profiles to detect them, they suffer from low precision, and require a large amount of training data. In this work, we provide an in-depth analysis of shilling profiles and describe new approaches to detect malicious collaborative filtering profiles. In particular, we exploit the similarity structure in shilling user profiles to separate them from normal user profiles using unsupervised dimensionality reduction. We present two detection algorithms; one based on PCA, while the other uses PLSA. Experimental results show a much improved detection precision over existing methods without the usage of additional training time required for supervised approaches. Finally, we present a novel and highly effective robust collaborative filtering algorithm which uses ideas presented in the detection algorithms using principal component analysis.

Keywords

Shilling Collaborative filtering Dimensionality reduction PCA PLSA Robust statistics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Google Inc.ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Forschungszentrum L3SUniversity of HannoverHannoverGermany

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