Effective Missing Data Prediction

Effective Missing Data Prediction for Collaborative
Filtering
Hao Ma, Irwin King and Michael R. Lyu
Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong
hma, king, lyu @cse.cuhk.edu.hk
ABSTRACT
Memory-based collaborative filtering algorithms have been
widely adopted in many popular recommender systems, although these approaches all suffer from data sparsity and
poor prediction quality problems. Usually, the user-item
matrix is quite sparse, which directly leads to inaccurate recommendations. This paper focuses the memory-based collaborative filtering problems on two crucial factors: (1) similarity computation between users or items and (2) missing data prediction algorithms. First, we use the enhanced
Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) algorithm by adding
one parameter which overcomes the potential decrease of
accuracy when computing the similarity of users or items.
Second, we propose an effective missing data prediction algorithm, in which information of both users and items is
taken into account. In this algorithm, we set the similarity
threshold for users and items respectively, and the prediction algorithm will determine whether predicting the missing
data or not. We also address how to predict the missing data
by employing a combination of user and item information.
Finally, empirical studies on dataset MovieLens have shown
that our newly proposed method outperforms other stateof-the-art collaborative filtering algorithms and it is more
robust against data sparsity.
Categories and Subject Descriptors: H.3.3 [Information Systems]: Information Search and Retrieval – Information Filtering
General Terms: Algorithm, Performance, Experimentation.
Keywords: Collaborative Filtering, Recommender System,
Data Prediction, Data Sparsity.
1. INTRODUCTION
Collaborative filtering is the method which automatically
predicts the interest of an active user by collecting rating
information from other similar users or items, and related
techniques have been widely employed in some large, faPermission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for
personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are
not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies
bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy otherwise, to
republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific
permission and/or a fee.
SIGIR’07, July23–27,2007,Amsterdam,TheNetherlands.
Copyright 2007 ACM 978-1-59593-597-7/07/0007 …$5.00.
mous commercial systems, such as Amazon1, Ebay2. The
underlying assumption of collaborative filtering is that the
active user will prefer those items which the similar users
prefer. The research of collaborative filtering started from
memory-based approaches which utilize the entire user-item
database to generate a prediction based on user or item similarity. Two types of memory-based methods have been
studied: user-based [2, 7, 10, 22] and item-based [5, 12,
17]. User-based methods first look for some similar users
who have similar rating styles with the active user and then
employ the ratings from those similar users to predict the
ratings for the active user. Item-based methods share the
same idea with user-based methods. The only difference
is user-based methods try to find the similar users for an
active user but item-based methods try to find the similar items for each item. Whether in user-based approaches
or in item-based approaches, the computation of similarity
between users or items is a very critical step. Notable similarity computation algorithms include Pearson Correlation
Coefficient (PCC) [16] and Vector Space Similarity (VSS)
algorithm [2].
Although memory-based approaches have been widely used
in recommendation systems [12, 16], the problem of inaccurate recommendation results still exists in both user-based
and item-based approaches. The fundamental problem of
memory-based approaches is the data sparsity of the useritem matrix. Many recent algorithms have been proposed
to alleviate the data sparsity problem. In [21], Wang et
al. proposed a generative probabilistic framework to exploit
more of the data available in the user-item matrix by fusing
all ratings with a predictive value for a recommendation to
be made. Xue et al. [22] proposed a framework for collaborative filtering which combines the strengths of memorybased approaches and model-based approaches by introducing a smoothing-based method, and solved the data sparsity
problem by predicting all the missing data in a user-item matrix. Although the simulation showed that this approach can
achieve better performance than other collaborative filtering
algorithms, the cluster-based smoothing algorithm limited
the diversity of users in each cluster and predicting all the
missing data in the user-item matrix could bring negative
influence for the recommendation of active users.
In this paper, we first use PCC-based significance weighting to compute similarity between users and items, which
overcomes the potential decrease of similarity accuracy. Second, we propose an effective missing data prediction algo-
1http://www.amazon.com/.
2http://www.half.ebay.com/.
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
39
rithm which exploits the information both from users and
items. Moreover, this algorithm will predict the missing
data of a user-item matrix if and only if we think it will bring
positive influence for the recommendation of active users
instead of predicting every missing data of the user-item
matrix. The simulation shows our novel approach achieves
better performance than other state-of-the-art collaborative
filtering approaches.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. In
Section 2, we provide an overview of several major approaches
for collaborative filtering. Section 3 shows the method of
similarity computation. The framework of our missing data
prediction and collaborative filtering is introduced in Section 4. The results of an empirical analysis are presented in
Section 5, followed by a conclusion in Section 6.
2. RELATED WORK
In this section, we review several major approaches for
collaborative filtering. Two types of collaborative filtering
approaches are widely studied: memory-based and modelbased.
2.1 Memory-based approaches
The memory-based approaches are the most popular prediction methods and are widely adopted in commercial collaborative filtering systems [12, 16]. The most analyzed examples of memory-based collaborative filtering include userbased approaches [2, 7, 10, 22] and item-based approaches [5,
12, 17]. User-based approaches predict the ratings of active
users based on the ratings of similar users found, and itembased approaches predict the ratings of active users based
on the information of similar items computed. User-based
and item-based approaches often use PCC algorithm [16]
and VSS algorithm [2] as the similarity computation methods. PCC-based collaborative filtering generally can achieve
higher performance than the other popular algorithm VSS,
since it considers the differences of user rating styles.
2.2 Model-based Approaches
In the model-based approaches, training datasets are used
to train a predefined model. Examples of model-based approaches include clustering models [11, 20, 22], aspect models [8, 9, 19] and latent factor model [3]. [11] presented
an algorithm for collaborative filtering based on hierarchical
clustering, which tried to balance robustness and accuracy of
predictions, especially when little data were available. Authors in [8] proposed an algorithm based on a generalization of probabilistic latent semantic analysis to continuousvalued response variables. The model-based approaches are
often time-consuming to build and update, and cannot cover
as diverse a user range as the memory-based approaches
do [22].
2.3 Other Related Approaches
In order to take the advantages of memory-based and
model-based approaches, hybrid collaborative filtering methods have been studied recently [14, 22]. [1, 4] unified collaborative filtering and content-based filtering, which achieved
significant improvements over the standard approaches. At
the same time, in order to solve the data sparsity problem,
researchers proposed dimensionality reduction approaches
in [15]. The dimensionality-reduction approach addressed
the sparsity problem by deleting unrelated or insignificant
users or items, which would discard some information of the
user-item matrix.
3. SIMILARITY COMPUTATION
This section briefly introduces the similarity computation
methods in traditional user-based and item-based collaborative filtering [2, 5, 7, 17] as well as the method proposed in
this paper. Given a recommendation system consists of M
users and N items, the relationship between users and items
is denoted by an M ×N matrix, called the user-item matrix.
Every entry in this matrix rm,n represents the score value,
r, that user m rates an item n, where r ∈ 1, 2, …, rmax. If
user m does not rate the item n, then rm,n = 0.
3.1 Pearson Correlation Coefficient
User-based collaborative filtering engaging PCC was used
in a number of recommendation systems [18], since it can
be easily implemented and can achieve high accuracy when
comparing with other similarity computation methods. In
user-based collaborative filtering, PCC is employed to define
the similarity between two users a and u based on the items
they rated in common:
Sim(a, u) =
!
i∈I(a)∩I(u)
(ra,i – ra) · (ru,i – ru)

“!(ra,i – ra)2 · “! (ru,i – ru)2
i∈I(a)∩I(u) i∈I(a)∩I(u)

,
(1)
where Sim(a, u) denotes the similarity between user a and
user u, and i belongs to the subset of items which user a and
user u both rated. ra,i is the rate user a gave item i, and ra
represents the average rate of user a. From this definition,
user similarity Sim(a, u) is ranging from [0, 1], and a larger
value means users a and u are more similar.
Item-based methods such as [5, 17] are similar to userbased approaches, and the difference is that item-based methods employ the similarity between the items instead of users.
The basic idea in similarity computation between two items
i and j is to first isolate the users who have rated both of
these items and then apply a similarity computation technique to determine the similarity Sim(i, j) [17]. The PCCbased similarity computation between two items i and j can
be described as:
Sim(i, j) =
!
u∈U(i)∩U(j)
(ru,i – ri) · (ru,j – rj)

“! (ru,i – ri)2 · “! (ru,j – rj)2
u∈U(i)∩U(j) u∈U(i)∩U(j)

,
(2)
where Sim(i, j) is the similarity between item i and item j,
and u belongs to the subset of users who both rated item
i and item j. ru,i is the rate user u gave item i, and ri
represents the average rate of item i. Like user similarity,
item similarity Sim(i, j) is also ranging from [0, 1].
3.2 Significance Weighting
PCC-based collaborative filtering generally can achieve
higher performance than other popular algorithms like VSS [2],
since it considers the factor of the differences of user rating
styles. However PCC will overestimate the similarities of
users who happen to have rated a few items identically, but
may not have similar overall preferences [13]. Herlocker et
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
40
al. [6, 7] proposed to add a correlation significance weighting factor that would devalue similarity weights that were
based on a small number of co-rated items. Herlocker’s latest research work [13] proposed to use the following modified
similarity computation equation:
Sim′(a, u) = Max(|Ia ∩Iu|, γ)
γ
· Sim(a, u). (3)
This equation overcomes the problem when only few items
are rated in common but in case that when |Ia ∩Iu| is much
higher than γ, the similarity Sim′(a, u) will be larger than 1,
and even surpass 2 or 3 in worse cases. We use the following
equation to solve this problem:
Sim′(a, u) = Min(|Ia ∩Iu|, γ)
γ
· Sim(a, u), (4)
where |Ia ∩ Iu| is the number of items which user a and
user u rated in common. This change bounds the similarity
Sim′(a, u) to the interval [0, 1]. Then the similarity between
items could be defined as:
Sim′(i, j) = Min(|Ui ∩Uj|, δ)
δ · Sim(i, j), (5)
where |Ui ∩Uj| is the number of users who rated both item
i and item j.
4. COLLABORATIVE FILTERING
FRAMEWORK
In pratice, the user-item matrix of commercial recommendation system is very sparse and the density of available
ratings is often less than 1% [17]. Sparse matrix directly
leads to the prediction inaccuracy in traditional user-based
or item-based collaborative filtering. Some work applies
data smoothing methods to fill the missing values of the
user-item matrix. In [22], Xue et al. proposed a clusterbased smoothing method which clusters the users using Kmeans first, and then predicts all the missing data based
on the ratings of Top-N most similar users in the similar
clusters. The simulation shows this method could generate
better results than other collaborative filtering algorithms.
But cluster-based method limits the diversity of users in
each cluster, and the clustering results of K-means relies on
the pre-selected K users. Furthermore, if a user does not
have enough similar users, then Top-N algorithm generates
a lot of dissimilar users which definitely will decrease the
prediction accuracy of the active users.
According to the analysis above, we propose a novel effective missing data prediction algorithm which predicts the
missing data when it fits the criteria we set. Otherwise, we
will not predict the missing data and keep the value of the
missing data to be zero. As illustrated in Fig. 1(a), before
we predict the missing data, the user-item matrix is a very
sparse matrix and every user only rates few items with ru,i;
at the same time, other unrated data are covered with shade.
Using this sparse matrix to predict ratings for active users
always results in giving bad recommendations to the active users. In our approach, we evaluate every shaded block
(missing data) using the available information in Fig. 1(a).
For every shaded block, if our algorithm achieves confidence
in the prediction, then we give this shaded block a predicted
rating value r#u,i. Otherwise, we set the value of this missing
data to zero, as seen in Fig. 1(b).
Accordingly, the collaborative filtering is simplified into
two simple questions. The first is “Under what circumstance
does our algorithm have confidence to predict the shaded
block?” and the second is “How to predict?”. The following
subsections will answer these two questions.
4.1 Similar Neighbors Selection
Similar neighbors selection is a very important step in
predicting missing data. If selected neighbors are dissimilar
with the current user, then the prediction of missing data
of this user is inaccurate and will finally affect the prediction results of the active users. In order to overcome the
flaws of Top-N neighbors selection algorithms, we introduce
a threshold η. If the similarity between the neighbor and the
current user is larger than η, then this neighbor is selected
as the similar user.
For every missing data ru,i, a set of similar users S(u)
towards user u can be generated according to:
S(u) = Sim′(ua, u) > η, ua = u, (6)
where Sim′(ua, u) is computed using Eq. (4). At the same
time, for every missing data ru,i, a set of similar items S(i)
towards item i can be generated according to:
S(i) = Sim′(ik, i) > θ, ik = i, (7)
where θ is the item similarity threshold, and Sim′(ik, i) is
computed by Eq. (5). The selection of η and θ is an important step since a very big value will always cause the
shortage of similar users or items, and a relative small value
will bring too many similar users or items.
According to Eqs.(6) and (7), we define that our algorithm
will lack enough confidence to predict the missing data ru,i if
and only if S(u) = ∅∧ S(i) = ∅, which means that user u does
not have similar users and item i does not have similar items
either. Then our algorithm sets the value of this missing
data to zero. Otherwise, it will predict the missing data ru,i
following the algorithm described in Subsection 4.2.
4.2 Missing Data Prediction
User-based collaborative filtering predicts the missing data
using the ratings of similar users and item-based collaborative filtering predicts the missing data using the ratings of
similar items. Actually, although users have their own rating style, if an item is a very popular item and has obtained
a very high average rating from other users, then the active user will have a high probability to give this item a
good rating too. Hence, predicting missing data only using
user-based approaches or only using item-based approaches
will potentially ignore valuable information that will make
the prediction more accurate. We propose to systematically
combine user-based and item-based approaches, and take
advantage of user correlations and item correlations in the
user-item matrix.
Given the missing data ru,i, according to Eq. (6) and
Eq. (7), if S(u) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅, the prediction of missing
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
41
i1 i2 i3 i4 i5 i6 i7 i8 in
u1
u 2
u 3
u 4
u 5
u m

r1,1 r1,4
r2,2 r2,8
r3,6
r4 ,4 r4 ,n
r5,3 r5,7
r6 ,9
rm,n rm,2

u 6
i9
i1 i2 i3 i4 i5 i6 i7 i8 in
u1
u 2
u 3
u 4
u 5
u m

r1,1 r1,4 rˆ1,3 rˆ1,6 rˆ1,8 rˆ1,9
r2,2 r2,8 rˆ2,4 rˆ2,5 rˆ2,7 rˆ2,n
r3,6 rˆ3,1 rˆ3,3 rˆ3,4 rˆ3,5 rˆ3,8 rˆ3,9
r4 ,4 r4 ,n rˆ4 ,1 rˆ4 ,2 rˆ4 ,5 rˆ4 ,6 rˆ4 ,7 rˆ4 ,9
r5,3 r5,7 rˆ5,1 rˆ5,2 rˆ5,5 rˆ5,8 rˆ5,9 rˆ5,n
r6 ,9 rˆ6 ,1 rˆ6 ,2 rˆ6 ,4 rˆ6 ,5 rˆ6 ,6 rˆ6 ,7 rˆ6 ,n
rm,2 rm,n rˆm,1 rˆm,4 rˆm,6 rˆm,8 rˆm,9

u 6
i9
Figure 1: (a) The user-item matrix (m × n) before missing data prediction. (b) The user-item matrix (m × n)
after missing data prediction.
data P(ru,i) is defined as:
P(ru,i) = λ × (u +
!
ua∈S(u)
Sim′(ua, u) · (rua,i – ua)
!
ua∈S(u)
Sim′(ua, u)
) +
(1 – λ) × (i +
!
ik∈S(i)
Sim′(ik, i) · (ru,ik – ik)
!
ik∈S(i)
Sim′(ik, i)
), (8)
where λ is the parameter in the range of [0, 1]. The use of
parameter λ allows us to determine how the prediction relies
on user-based prediction and item-based prediction. λ = 1
states that P(ru,i) depends completely upon ratings from
user-based prediction and λ = 0 states that P(ru,i) depends
completely upon ratings from item-based prediction.
In practice, some users do not have similar users and the
similarities between these users and all other users are less
than the threshold η. Top-N algorithms will ignore this
problem and still choose the top n most similar users to
predict the missing data. This will definitely decrease the
prediction quality of the missing data. In order to predict
the missing data as accurate as possible, in case some users
do not have similar users, we use the information of similar
items instead of users to predict the missing data, and vice
versa, as seen in Eq. (9) and Eq. (10). This consideration inspires us to fully utilize the information of user-item matrix
as follows:
If S(u) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅, the prediction of missing data
P(ru,i) is defined as:
P(ru,i) = u +
!
ua∈S(u)
Sim′(ua, u) · (rua,i – ua)
!
ua∈S(u)
Sim′(ua, u)
. (9)
If S(u) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅, the prediction of missing data
P(ru,i) is defined as:
P(ru,i) = i +
!
ik∈S(i)
Sim′(ik, i) · (ru,ik – ik)
!
ik∈S(i)
Sim′(ik, i)
. (10)
The last possibility is given the missing data ru,i, user u
does not have similar users and at the same time, item i also
does not have similar items. In this situation, we choose not
to predict the missing data; otherwise, it will bring negative
influence to the prediction of the missing data ru,i. That is:
If S(u) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅, the prediction of missing data
P(ru,i) is defined as:
P(ru,i) = 0. (11)
This consideration is different from all other existing prediction or smoothing methods. They always try to predict
all the missing data in the user-item matrix, which will predict some missing data with bad quality.
4.3 Prediction for Active Users
After the missing data is predicted in the user-item matrix, the next step is to predict the ratings for the active
users. The prediction process is almost the same as predicting the missing data, and the only difference is in the case
for a given active user a; namely, if S(a) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅,
then predicts the missing data using the following equation:
P(ra,i) = λ × ra + (1 – λ) × ri. (12)
In other situations, if (1) S(u) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅, (2) S(u) =
∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅ or (3) S(u) = ∅ ∧ S(i) = ∅, we use Eq. (8),
Eq. (9) and Eq. (10) to predict ra,i, respectively.
4.4 Parameter Discussion
The thresholds γ and δ introduced in Section 3 are employed to avoid overestimating the users similarity and items
similarity, when there are only few ratings in common. If we
set γ and δ too high, most of the similarities between users
or items need to be multiplied with the significance weight,
and it is not the results we expect. However, if we set γ and
δ too low, it is also not reasonable because the overestimate
problem still exists. Tuning these parameters is important
to achieving a good prediction results.
The thresholds η and θ introduced in Section 4.1 also play
an important role in our collaborative filtering algorithm. If
η and θ are set too high, less missing data need to be predicted; if they are set too low, a lot of missing data need
to be predicted. In the case when η = 1 and θ = 1, our
approach will not predict any missing data, and this algorithm becomes the general collaborative filtering without
data smoothing. In the case when η = 0 and θ = 0, our approach will predict all the missing data, and this algorithm
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
42
Table 1: The relationship between parameters with other CF approaches

Lambda Eta Theta Related CF Approaches
1 1 1 User-based CF without missing data prediction
0 1 1 Item-based CF without missing data prediction
1 0 0 User-based CF with all the missing data predicted
0 0 0 Item-based CF with all the missing data predicted

converges to the Top-N neighbors selection algorithms, except the number N here includes all the neighbors. In order
to simplify our model, we set η = θ in all the simulations.
Finally, parameter λ introduced in Section 4.2 is the last
parameter we need to tune, and it is also the most important
one. λ determines how closely the rating prediction relies on
user information or item information. As discussed before,
λ = 1 states that P(ru,i) depends completely upon ratings
from user-based prediction and λ = 0 states that P(ru,i)
depends completely upon ratings from item-based prediction. This physical interpretation also helps us to tune λ
accordingly.
With the changes of parameters, several other famous collaborative filtering methods become special cases in our approach as illustrated in Table 1.
5. EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS
We conduct several experiments to measure the recommendation quality of our new approach for collaborative filtering with other methods, and address the experiments as
the following questions: (1) How does our approach compare
with traditional user-based and item-based collaborative filtering methods? (2) What is the performance comparison
between our effective missing data prediction approach and
other algorithms which predict every missing data? (3) How
does significance weighting affect the accuracy of prediction?
(4) How do the thresholds η and θ affect the accuracy of prediction? How many missing data are predicted by our algorithm, and what is the comparison of our algorithm with
the algorithms that predict all the missing data or no missing data? (5) How does the parameter λ affect the accuracy
of prediction? and (6) How does our approach compare
with the published state-of-the-art collaborative filtering algorithms?
In the following, Section 5.3 gives answers to questions 1
and 6, Section 5.4 addresses question 2, and Section 5.5
describes experiment for the questions 3 to 5.
5.1 Dataset
Two datasets from movie rating are applied in our experiments: MovieLens3 and EachMovie4. We only report
the simulation results of MovieLens due to the space limitation. Similar results can be observed from the EachMovie
application.
MovieLens is a famous Web-based research recommender
system. It contains 100,000 ratings (1-5 scales) rated by 943
users on 1682 movies, and each user at least rated 20 movies.
The density of the user-item matrix is:
100000
943 × 1682
= 6.30%.
3http://www.cs.umn.edu/Research/GroupLens/.
4http://www.research.digital.com/SRC/EachMovie/. It is
retired by Hewlett-Packard (HP), but a postprocessed copy
can be found on http://guir.berkeley.edu/projects/swami/.
Table 2: Statistics of Dataset MovieLens

Statistics User Item
Min. Num. of Ratings 20 1
Max. Num. of Ratings 737 583
Avg. Num. of Ratings 106.04 59.45

Table 3: MAE comparison with other approaches (A
smaller MAE value means a better performance).

Training Users Methods Given5 Given10 Given20
EMDP 0.784 0.765 0.755 MovieLens 300
UPCC 0.838 0.814 0.802
IPCC 0.870 0.838 0.813
EMDP 0.796 0.770 0.761 MovieLens 200
UPCC 0.843 0.822 0.807
IPCC 0.855 0.834 0.812
EMDP 0.811 0.778 0.769 MovieLens 100
UPCC 0.876 0.847 0.811
IPCC 0.890 0.850 0.824

The statistics of dataset MovieLens is summarized in Table 2.
We extract a subset of 500 users from the dataset, and
divide it into two parts: select 300 users as the training
users (100, 200, 300 users respectively), and the rest 200
users as the active (testing) users. As to the active users,
we vary the number of rated items provided by the active
users from 5, 10, to 20, and give the name Given5, Given10
and Given20, respectively.
5.2 Metrics
We use the Mean Absolute Error (MAE) metrics to measure the prediction quality of our proposed approach with
other collaborative filtering methods. MAE is defined as:
MAE =
$u,i |ru,i – r#u,i|
N , (13)
where ru,i denotes the rating that user u gave to item i, and
r#u,i denotes the rating that user u gave to item i which is
predicted by our approach, and N denotes the number of
tested ratings.
5.3 Comparison
In order to show the performance increase of our effective
missing data prediction (EMDP) algorithm, we compare our
algorithm with some traditional algorithms: user-based algorithm using PCC (UPCC) and item-based algorithm using
PCC (IPCC). The parameters or thresholds for the experiments are empirically set as follows: λ = 0.7, γ = 30, δ = 25,
η = θ = 0.4.
In Table 3, we observe that our new approach significantly
improves the recommendation quality of collaborative filtering, and outperforms UPCC and IPCC consistently.
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
43
Table 4: MAE comparison with state-of-the-arts algorithms (A smaller MAE value means a better performance).

Num. of Training Users 100 200 300
Ratings Given for Active Users 5 10 20 5 10 20 5 10 20
EMDP 0.807 0.769 0.765 0.793 0.760 0.751 0.788 0.754 0.746
SF 0.847 0.774 0.792 0.827 0.773 0.783 0.804 0.761 0.769
SCBPCC 0.848 0.819 0.789 0.831 0.813 0.784 0.822 0.810 0.778
AM 0.963 0.922 0.887 0.849 0.837 0.815 0.820 0.822 0.796
PD 0.849 0.817 0.808 0.836 0.815 0.792 0.827 0.815 0.789
PCC 0.874 0.836 0.818 0.859 0.829 0.813 0.849 0.841 0.820

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
0.74
0.75
0.76
0.77
0.78
0.79
0.8
0.81
0.82
0.83
Lambda
MAE
EMDP-Given20
PEMD-Given20
EMDP-Given10
PEMD-Given10
EMDP-Given5
PEMD-Given5
Figure 2: MAE Comparison of EMDP and PEMD
(A smaller MAE value means a better performance).
Next, in order to compare our approach with other stateof-the-arts algorithms, we follow the exact evaluation procedures which were described in [21, 22] by extracting a
subset of 500 users with more than 40 ratings. Table 4
summarizes our experimental results. We compare with the
following algorithms: Similarity Fusion (SF) [21], Smoothing and Cluster-Based PCC (SCBPCC) [22], the Aspect
Model (AM) [9], Personality Diagnosis (PD) [14] and the
user-based PCC [2]. Our method outperforms all other competitive algorithms in various configurations.
5.4 Impact of Missing Data Prediction
Our algorithm incorporates the option not to predict the
missing data if it does not meet the criteria set in Section
4.1 and Section 4.2. In addition, it alleviates the potential
negative influences from bad prediction on the missing data.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, we first
conduct a set of simulations on our effective missing data
prediction approach. The number of training users is 300,
where we set γ = 30, δ = 25, η = θ = 0.5, and vary λ
from zero to one with a step value of 0.05. We then plot the
graph with the ratings of active users of Given5, Given10
and Given20, respectively. As to the method in predicting
every missing data (PEMD), we use the same algorithm,
and keep the configurations the same as EMDP except for
Eq. (11). In PEMD, when S(u) = ∅ and S(i) = ∅, we
predict the missing data ru,i using the nearest neighbors of
the missing data instead of setting the value to zero. In
this experiment, we set the number of nearest neighbors
to 10. The intention of this experiment is to compare the
performance of our EMDP algorithm with PEMD under the
same configurations. In other words, we intend to determine
the effectiveness of our missing data prediction algorithm,
and whether our approach is better than the approach which
will predict every missing data or not.
In Fig. 2, the star, up triangle, and diamond in solid line
represent the EMDP algorithm in Given20, Given10 and
Given5 ratings respectively, and the circle, down triangle,
and square in dashed line represent the PEMD algorithm in
Given20, Given10 and Given5 ratings respectively. All the
solid lines are below the respectively comparative dashed
lines, indicating our effective missing data prediction algorithm performs better than the algorithm which predict every missing data, and predicting missing data selectively is
indeed a more effective method.
5.5 Impact of Parameters
5.5.1 γ and δ in Significance Weighting
Significance weighting makes the similarity computation
more reasonable in practice and devalues some similarities
which look similar but are actually not, and the simulation
results in Fig. 3 shows the significance weighting will promote the collaborative filtering performance.
In this experiment, we first evaluate the influence of γ,
and select 300 training users, then set λ = 0.7, η = θ = 0.5,
δ = 26. We vary the range of γ from 0 to 50 with a step value
of 2. Fig. 3(a),(b),(c) shows how γ affects MAE when given
ratings 20, 10, 5 respectively, and Fig. 3(d) shows that the
value of γ also impacts the density of the user-item matrix
in the process of missing data prediction. The density of
the user-item matrix will decrease according to the increase
of the value of γ. More experiments show that δ has the
same features and impacts on MAE and matrix density as
γ; however, we do not include the simulation results due to
the space limitation.
5.5.2 Impact of λ
Parameter λ balances the information from users and items.
It takes advantages from these two types of collaborative filtering methods. If λ = 1, we only extract information from
users, and if λ = 0, we only mine valuable information from
items. In other cases, we fuse information from users and
items to predict the missing data and furthermore, to predict for active users.
Fig. 4 shows the impacts of λ on MAE. In this experiment,
we test 300 training users, 200 training users and 100 training users and report the experiment results in Fig. 4(a),
Fig. 4(b) and Fig. 4(c) respectively. The initial values of
other parameters or thresholds are: η = θ = 0.5, γ = 30,
δ = 25.
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
44
0 10 20 30 40 50
0.7464
0.7466
0.7468
0.747
0.7472
0.7474
0.7476
0.7478
0.748
Gamma
MAE
Given20
0 10 20 30 40 50
0.7538
0.754
0.7542
0.7544
0.7546
0.7548
0.755
0.7552
0.7554
0.7556
0.7558
Gamma
MAE
Given10
0 10 20 30 40 50
0.775
0.7755
0.776
0.7765
0.777
0.7775
0.778
0.7785
0.779
Gamma
MAE

Given5

0 10 20 30 40 50
0.86
0.88
0.9
0.92
0.94
0.96
0.98
1
Gamma
Density
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Figure 3: Impact of Gamma on MAE and Matrix Density
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0.74
0.76
0.78
0.8
0.82
0.84
Lambda
MAE
Training Users = 300
Given20
Given10
Given5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0.74
0.76
0.78
0.8
0.82
0.84
Lambda
MAE
Training Users = 200
Given20
Given10
Given5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0.76
0.78
0.8
0.82
0.84
0.86
Lambda
MAE
Training Users = 100
Given20
Given10
Given5
(a) (b) (c)
Figure 4: Impact of Lambda on MAE
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0.74
0.76
0.78
0.8
0.82
0.84
Eta and Theta
MAE
Training Users = 300
Given20
Given10
Given5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Eta and Theta
Density
Training Users = 300
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0.74
0.76
0.78
0.8
0.82
0.84
Eta and Theta
MAE
Training Users = 200
Given20
Given10
Given5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Eta and Theta
Density
Training Users = 200
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0.76
0.78
0.8
0.82
0.84
Eta and Theta
MAE
Training Users = 100
Given20
Given10
Given5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
Eta and Theta
Density
Training Users = 100
(a) (b) (c)
(d) (f) (g)
Figure 5: Impact of Eta and Theta on MAE and Density
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
45
Observed from Fig. 4, we draw the conclusion that the
value of λ impacts the recommendation results significantly,
which demonstrates that combining the user-based method
with the item-based method will greatly improve the recommendation accuracy. Another interesting observation is
when following the increase of the number of ratings given
(from 5 to 10, and from 10 to 20), the value of arg minλ(MAE)
of each curve in Fig. 4 shifts from 0.3 to 0.8 smoothly. This
implies the information for users is more important than
that for items if more ratings for active users are given. On
the other hand, the information for items would be more important if less ratings for active users are available; however,
less ratings for active users will lead to more inaccuracy of
the recommendation results.
5.5.3 Impact of η and θ
η and θ also play a very important role in our collaborative filtering approach. As discussed in Section 4, η and θ
directly determine how many missing data need to be predicted. If η and θ are set too high, most of the missing data
cannot be predicted since many users will not have similar
users, and many items will not have similar items either. On
the other hand, if η and θ are set too low, every user or item
will obtain too many similar users or items, which causes the
computation inaccuracy and increases the computing cost.
Accordingly, selecting proper values for η and θ is as critical as determining the value for λ. In order to simplify our
model, we set η = θ as employed in our experiments.
In the next experiment, we select 500 users from MovieLens dataset and extract 300 users for training users and
other 200 as the active users. The initial values for every
parameter and threshold are: λ = 0.7, γ = 30, δ = 25. We
vary the values of η and θ from 0 to 1 with a step value of
0.05. For each training user set (100, 200, 300 users respectively), we compute the MAE and density of the user-item
matrix. The results are showed in Fig. 5.
As showed in Fig. 5(a), given 300 training users and given
20 ratings for every active user, this algorithm will achieve
the best performance around η = θ = 0.50, and the related
density of user-item matrix in Fig. 5(d) is 92.64% which
shows that 7.36% missing data of this user-item matrix are
not predicted. In this experiment, the number of data that
was not predicted is 0.0736×500×1000 = 36800. We observe
that around η = θ = 0.70, this algorithm already achieves
a very good MAE value which is almost the same as the
best MAE values in Fig. 5(b). The related matrix density is
29.00%, which illustrates that more than 70% data of useritem matrix are not predicted. Nevertheless, the algorithm
can already achieve satisfactory performance.
6. CONCLUSIONS
In this paper, we propose an effective missing data prediction algorithm for collaborative filtering. By judging
whether a user (an item) has other similar users (items), our
approach determines whether to predict the missing data
and how to predict the missing data by using information of
users, items or both. Traditional user-based collaborative filtering and item-based collaborative filtering approaches are
two subsets of our new approach. Empirical analysis shows
that our proposed EMDP algorithm for collaborative filtering outperforms other state-of-the-art collaborative filtering
approaches.
For future work, we plan to conduct more research on
the relationship between user information and item information since our simulations show the algorithm combining
these two kinds of information generates better performance.
Lastly, another research topic worthy of studying is the scalability analysis of our algorithm.
7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We thank Mr. Shikui Tu, Ms. Tu Zhou and Mr. Haixuan Yang for many valuable discussions on this topic. This
work is fully supported by two grants from the Research
Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region, China (Project No. CUHK4205/04E and Project
No. CUHK4235/04E).
8. REFERENCES
[1] J. Basilico and T. Hofmann. Unifying collaborative and
content-based filtering. In Proc. of ICML, 2004.
[2] J. S. Breese, D. Heckerman, and C. Kadie. Empirical analysis
of predictive algorithms for collaborative filtering. In Proc. of
UAI, 1998.
[3] J. Canny. Collaborative filtering with privacy via factor
analysis. In Proc. of SIGIR, 2002.
[4] M. Claypool, A. Gokhale, T. Miranda, P. Murnikov, D. Netes,
and M. Sartin. Combining content-based and collaborative
filters in an online newspaper. In Proc. of SIGIR, 1999.
[5] M. Deshpande and G. Karypis. Item-based top-n
recommendation. ACM Trans. Inf. Syst., 22(1):143–177, 2004.
[6] J. Herlocker, J. A. Konstan, and J. Riedl. An empirical
analysis of design choices in neighborhood-based collaborative
filtering algorithms. Information Retrieval, 5:287–310, 2002.
[7] J. L. Herlocker, J. A. Konstan, A. Borchers, and J. Riedl. An
algorithmic framework for performing collaborative filtering. In
Proc. of SIGIR, 1999.
[8] T. Hofmann. Collaborative filtering via gaussian probabilistic
latent semantic analysis. In Proc. of SIGIR, 2003.
[9] T. Hofmann. Latent semantic models for collaborative
filtering. ACM Trans. Inf. Syst., 22(1):89–115, 2004.
[10] R. Jin, J. Y. Chai, and L. Si. An automatic weighting scheme
for collaborative filtering. In Proc. of SIGIR, 2004.
[11] A. Kohrs and B. Merialdo. Clustering for collaborative filtering
applications. In Proc. of CIMCA, 1999.
[12] G. Linden, B. Smith, and J. York. Amazon.com
recommendations: Item-to-item collaborative filtering. IEEE
Internet Computing, pages 76–80, Jan/Feb 2003.
[13] M. R. McLaughlin and J. L. Herlocker. A collaborative
filtering algorithm and evaluation metric that accurately model
the user experience. In Proc. of SIGIR, 2004.
[14] D. M. Pennock, E. Horvitz, S. Lawrence, and C. L. Giles.
Collaborative filtering by personality diagnosis: A hybrid
memory- and model-based approach. In Proc. of UAI, 2000.
[15] J. D. M. Rennie and N. Srebro. Fast maximum margin matrix
factorization for collaborative prediction. In Proc. of ICML,
2005.
[16] P. Resnick, N. Iacovou, M. Suchak, P. Bergstrom, and J. Riedl.
Grouplens: An open architecture for collaborative filtering of
netnews. In Proc. of ACM Conference on Computer
Supported Cooperative Work, 1994.
[17] B. Sarwar, G. Karypis, J. Konstan, and J. Riedl. Item-based
collaborative filtering recommendation algorithms. In Proc. of
the WWW Conference, 2001.
[18] U. Shardanand and P. Maes. Social information filtering:
Algorithms for automating word of mouth. In Proc. of SIGCHI
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1995.
[19] L. Si and R. Jin. Flexible mixture model for collaborative
filtering. In Proc. of ICML, 2003.
[20] L. H. Ungar and D. P. Foster. Clustering methods for
collaborative filtering. In Proc. Workshop on
Recommendation System at the 15th National Conf. on
Artificial Intelligence, 1998.
[21] J. Wang, A. P. de Vries, and M. J. Reinders. Unifying
user-based and item-based collaborative filtering approaches
by similarity fusion. In Proc. of SIGIR, 2006.
[22] G.-R. Xue, C. Lin, Q. Yang, W. Xi, H.-J. Zeng, Y. Yu, and
Z. Chen. Scalable collaborative filtering using cluster-based
smoothing. In Proc. of SIGIR, 2005.
SIGIR 2007 Proceedings Session 2: Routing and Filtering
46
View publication stats

Reference no: EM132069492

GET HELP WITH YOUR PAPERS

WhatsApp
Hello! Need help with your assignments? We are here
Don`t copy text!