User Similarity from Linked Taxonomies: Subjective Assessments of Items
Makoto Nakatsuji, Yasuhiro Fujiwara, Toshio Uchiyama, Ko Fujimura
Subjective assessments (SAs) are assigned by users against items, such as ’elegant’ and ’gorgeous’, and are common in reviews/tags in many online-sites. However, previous studies fail to effectively use SAs for improving recommendations because few users rate the same items with the same SAs, which triggers the sparsity problem in collaborative filtering. We propose a novel algorithm that links a taxonomy of items to a taxonomy of SAs to assess user interests in detail. That is, it merges the SAs assigned by users against an item into subjective classes (SCs) and reflects the SAs/SCs assigned to an item to its classes. Thus, it can measure the similarity of users from not only SAs/SCs assigned to items but also their classes, which overcomes the sparsity problem. Our evaluation, which uses data from a popular restaurant review site, shows that our method generates more accurate recommendations than previous methods. Furthermore, we find that SAs frequently assigned on a few item classes are more useful than those widely assigned against many item classes in terms of recommendation accuracy.