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Frontiers of Information Technology & Electronic Engineering >> 2017, Volume 18, Issue 11 doi: 10.1631/FITEE.1601468

A novel confidence estimation method for heterogeneous implicit feedback

College of Computer Science and Technology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China.

Available online:2018-03-08

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Implicit feedback, which indirectly reflects opinion through user behaviors, has gained increasing attention in rec-ommender system communities due to its accessibility and richness in real-world applications. A major way of exploiting implicit feedback is to treat the data as an indication of positive and negative preferences associated with vastly varying confidence levels. Such algorithms assume that the numerical value of implicit feedback, such as time of watching, indicates confidence, rather than degree of preference, and a larger value indicates a higher confidence, although this works only when just one type of implicit feedback is available. However, in real-world applications, there are usually various types of implicit feedback, which can be referred to as heterogeneous implicit feedback. Existing methods cannot efficiently infer confidence levels from heterogeneous implicit feedback. In this paper, we propose a novel confidence estimation approach to infer the confidence level of user prefer-ence based on heterogeneous implicit feedback. Then we apply the inferred confidence to both point-wise and pair-wise matrix factorization models, and propose a more generic strategy to select effective training samples for pair-wise methods. Experiments on real-world e-commerce datasets from show that our methods outperform the state-of-the-art approaches, consid-ering several commonly used ranking-oriented evaluation criteria.

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