Supercharging recommender systems using taxonomies for learning user purchase behavior
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Recommender systems based on latent factor models have been effectively used for understanding user interests and predicting future actions. Such models work by projecting the users and items into a smaller dimensional space, thereby clustering similar users and items together and subsequently compute similarity between unknown user-item pairs. When user-item interactions are sparse (sparsity problem) or when new items continuously appear (cold start problem), these models perform poorly. In this paper, we exploit the combination of taxonomies and latent factor models to mitigate these issues and improve recommendation accuracy. We observe that taxonomies provide structure similar to that of a latent factor model: namely, it imposes human-labeled categories (clusters) over items.
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