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A semantic approach to remove incoherent items from a user profile and improve the accuracy of a recommender system

Abstract

Recommender systems usually suggest items by exploiting all the previous interactions of the users with a system (e.g., in order to decide the movies to recommend to a user, all the movies she previously purchased are considered). This canonical approach sometimes could lead to wrong results due to several factors, such as a change in user preferences over time, or the use of her account by third parties. This kind of incoherence in the user profiles defines a lower bound on the error the recommender systems may achieve when they generate suggestions for a user, an aspect known in literature as magic barrier. This paper proposes a novel dynamic coherence-based approach to define the user profile used in the recommendation process. The main aim is to identify and remove, from the previously evaluated items, those not semantically adherent to the others, in order to make a user profile as close as possible to the user’s real preferences, solving the aforementioned problems. Moreover, reshaping the user profile in such a way leads to great advantages in terms of computational complexity, since the number of items considered during the recommendation process is highly reduced. The performed experiments show the effectiveness of our approach to remove the incoherent items from a user profile, increasing the recommendation accuracy.

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Notes

  1. http://www.lextek.com/manuals/onix/stopwords.html

  2. http://lyle.smu.edu/tspell/jaws/index.html

  3. The analysis has been omitted, since it did not show significant and interesting results, and in order to facilitate the reading of the paper.

  4. http://www.netflixprize.com/faq

  5. http://webscope.sandbox.yahoo.com

  6. http://grouplens.org/datasets/movielens/

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Correspondence to Ludovico Boratto.

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This work is partially funded by Regione Sardegna under project NOMAD (Next generation Open Mobile Apps Development), through PIA - Pacchetti Integrati di Agevolazione “Industria Artigianato e Servizi” (annualità 2013), and by MIUR PRIN 2010-11 under project “Security Horizons”.

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Saia, R., Boratto, L. & Carta, S. A semantic approach to remove incoherent items from a user profile and improve the accuracy of a recommender system. J Intell Inf Syst 47, 111–134 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10844-016-0406-7

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Keywords

  • User profiling
  • Semantic analysis
  • Magic barrier
  • Accuracy