User behaviour modelling in a multi-dimensional environment for personalization and recommendation

Rawat, Rakesh (2010) User behaviour modelling in a multi-dimensional environment for personalization and recommendation. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Handling information overload online, from the user's point of view is a big challenge, especially when the number of websites is growing rapidly due to growth in e-commerce and other related activities. Personalization based on user needs is the key to solving the problem of information overload. Personalization methods help in identifying relevant information, which may be liked by a user. User profile and object profile are the important elements of a personalization system. When creating user and object profiles, most of the existing methods adopt two-dimensional similarity methods based on vector or matrix models in order to find inter-user and inter-object similarity. Moreover, for recommending similar objects to users, personalization systems use the users-users, items-items and users-items similarity measures. In most cases similarity measures such as Euclidian, Manhattan, cosine and many others based on vector or matrix methods are used to find the similarities. Web logs are high-dimensional datasets, consisting of multiple users, multiple searches with many attributes to each. Two-dimensional data analysis methods may often overlook latent relationships that may exist between users and items. In contrast to other studies, this thesis utilises tensors, the high-dimensional data models, to build user and object profiles and to find the inter-relationships between users-users and users-items. To create an improved personalized Web system, this thesis proposes to build three types of profiles: individual user, group users and object profiles utilising decomposition factors of tensor data models. A hybrid recommendation approach utilising group profiles (forming the basis of a collaborative filtering method) and object profiles (forming the basis of a content-based method) in conjunction with individual user profiles (forming the basis of a model based approach) is proposed for making effective recommendations. A tensor-based clustering method is proposed that utilises the outcomes of popular tensor decomposition techniques such as PARAFAC, Tucker and HOSVD to group similar instances. An individual user profile, showing the user's highest interest, is represented by the top dimension values, extracted from the component matrix obtained after tensor decomposition. A group profile, showing similar users and their highest interest, is built by clustering similar users based on tensor decomposed values. A group profile is represented by the top association rules (containing various unique object combinations) that are derived from the searches made by the users of the cluster. An object profile is created to represent similar objects clustered on the basis of their similarity of features. Depending on the category of a user (known, anonymous or frequent visitor to the website), any of the profiles or their combinations is used for making personalized recommendations. A ranking algorithm is also proposed that utilizes the personalized information to order and rank the recommendations. The proposed methodology is evaluated on data collected from a real life car website. Empirical analysis confirms the effectiveness of recommendations made by the proposed approach over other collaborative filtering and content-based recommendation approaches based on two-dimensional data analysis methods.

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ID Code: 48135
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Nayak, Richi & Li, Yuefeng
Keywords: server log data analysis, vector space models, matrix methods of data analysis, tensor space modelling of web users, clustering, association rule mining, user profile, group profile, object profiling, recommendation
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 18 Jan 2012 06:04
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2012 06:04

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