We investigate the use of dimensionality reduction to improve performance for a new class of data analysis software called "recommender systems". Recommender systems apply knowledge discovery techniques to the problem of making product recommendations during a live customer interaction. These systems are achieving wide-spread success in E-commerce nowadays, especially with the advent of the Internet. The tremendous growth of customers and products poses three key challenges for recommender systems in the E-commerce domain. These are: producing high quality recommendations, performing many recommendations per second for millions of customers and products, and achieving high coverage in the face of data sparsity. One successful recommender system technology is collaborative filtering, which works by matching customer preferences to other customers in making recommendations. Collaborative filtering has been shown to produce high quality recommendations, but the performance degrades with the number of customers and products. New recommender system technologies are needed that can quickly produce high quality recommendations, even for very large-scale problems.This paper presents two different experiments where we have explored one technology called Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to reduce the dimensionality of recommender system databases. Each experiment compares the quality of a recommender system using SVD with the quality of a recommender system using collaborative filtering. The first experiment compares the effectiveness of the two recommender systems at predicting consumer preferences based on a database of explicit ratings of products. The second experiment compares the effectiveness of the two recommender systems at producing Top-N lists based on a real-life customer purchase database from an E-Commerce site. Our experience suggests that SVD has the potential to meet many of the challenges of recommender systems, under certain conditions.
Sarwar, Badrul; Karypis, George; Konstan, Joseph; Riedl, John T..
Application of Dimensionality Reduction in Recommender System - A Case Study.
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