AAAI Publications, Twenty-Seventh AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Active Transfer Learning for Cross-System Recommendation
Lili Zhao, Sinno Jialin Pan, Evan Wei Xiang, Erheng Zhong, Zhongqi Lu, Qiang Yang

Last modified: 2013-06-29


Recommender systems, especially the newly launched ones, have to deal with the data-sparsity issue, where little existing rating information is available. Recently, transfer learning has been proposed to address this problem by leveraging the knowledge from related recommender systems where rich collaborative data are available. However, most previous transfer learning models assume that entity-correspondences across different systems are given as input, which means that for any entity (e.g., a user or an item) in a target system, its corresponding entity in a source system is known. This assumption can hardly be satisfied in real-world scenarios where entity-correspondences across systems are usually unknown, and the cost of identifying them can be expensive. For example, it is extremely difficult to identify whether a user A from Facebook and a user B from Twitter are the same person. In this paper, we propose a framework to construct entity correspondence with limited budget by using active learning to facilitate knowledge transfer across recommender systems. Specifically, for the purpose of maximizing knowledge transfer, we first iteratively select entities in the target system based on our proposed criterion to query their correspondences in the source system. We then plug the actively constructed entity-correspondence mapping into a general transferred collaborative-filtering model to improve recommendation quality. We perform extensive experiments on real world datasets to verify the effectiveness of our proposed framework for this cross-system recommendation problem.

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