Experience-aware Item Recommendation in Evolving Review Communities

Current recommender systems exploit user and item similarities by collaborative filtering. Some advanced methods also consider the temporal evolution of item ratings as a global background process. However, all prior methods disregard the individual evolution of a user's experience level and how this is expressed in the user's writing in a review community. In this paper, we model the joint evolution of user experience, interest in specific item facets, writing style, and rating behavior. This way we can generate individual recommendations that take into account the user's maturity level (e.g., recommending art movies rather than blockbusters for a cinematography expert). As only item ratings and review texts are observables, we capture the user's experience and interests in a latent model learned from her reviews, vocabulary and writing style. We develop a generative HMM-LDA model for a user's evolution, where the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) traces her latent experience progressing over time -- with solely user reviews and ratings as observables over time. The facets of a user's interests are drawn from a Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model derived from her reviews, as a function of her (again latent) experience level. In experiments with five real-world datasets, we show that our model improves the rating prediction over state-of-the-art baselines, by a substantial margin. We also show, in a use-case study, that our model performs well in the assessment of user experience levels.


  • Subhabrata Mukherjee, Hemank Lamba and Gerhard Weikum.
    Experience-aware Item Recommendation in Evolving Review Communities
    Proc. of the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Data Mining (ICDM). 2015.