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CoFiDS: A Belief-Theoretic Approach for Automated Collaborative Filtering

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4 Author(s)

Automated Collaborative Filtering (ACF) refers to a group of algorithms used in recommender systems, a research topic that has received considerable attention due to its e-commerce applications. However, existing techniques are rarely capable of dealing with imperfections in user-supplied ratings. When such imperfections (e.g., ambiguities) cannot be avoided, designers resort to simplifying assumptions that impair the system's performance and utility. We have developed a novel technique referred to as CoFiDS-Collaborative Filtering based on Dempster-Shafer belief-theoretic framework-that can represent a wide variety of data imperfections, propagate them throughout the decision-making process without the need to make simplifying assumptions, and exploit contextual information. With its DS-theoretic predictions, the domain expert can either obtain a "hard” decision or can narrow the set of possible predictions to a smaller set. With its capability to handle data imperfections, CoFiDS widens the applicability of ACF to such critical and sensitive domains as medical decision support systems and defense-related applications. We describe the theoretical foundation of the system and report experiments with a benchmark movie data set. We explore some essential aspects of CoFiDS' behavior and show that its performance compares favorably with other ACF systems.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 2 )