Design and Evaluation of Techniques to Utilize Implicit Rating Data in Complex Information Systems.
Fox, Edward A.
Tatar, Deborah Gail
Torres, Ricardo da Silva
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Research in personalization, including recommender systems, focuses on applications such as in online shopping malls and simple information systems. These systems consider user profile and item information obtained from data explicitly entered by users - where it is possible to classify items involved and to make personalization based on a direct mapping from user or user group to item or item group. However, in complex, dynamic, and professional information systems, such as Digital Libraries, additional capabilities are needed to achieve personalization to support their distinctive features: large numbers of digital objects, dynamic updates, sparse rating data, biased rating data on specific items, and challenges in getting explicit rating data from users. In this report, we present techniques for collecting, storing, processing, and utilizing implicit rating data of Digital Libraries for analysis and decision support. We present our pilot study to find virtual user groups using implicit rating data. We demonstrate the effectiveness of implicit rating data for characterizing users and finding virtual user communities, through statistical hypothesis testing. Further, we describe a visual data mining tool named VUDM (Visual User model Data Mining tool) that utilizes implicit rating data. We provide the results of formative evaluation of VUDM and discuss the problems raised and plans for further studies.