A Bayesian Approach toward Active Learning for Collaborative Filtering


Collaborative filtering is a useful technique for exploiting the preference patterns of a group of users to predict the utility of items for the active user. In general, the performance of collaborative filtering depends on the number of rated examples given by the active user. The more the number of rated examples given by the active user, the more accurate the predicted ratings will be. Active learning provides an effective way to acquire the most informative rated examples from active users. Previous work on active learning for collaborative filtering only considers the expected loss function based on the estimated model, which can be misleading when the estimated model is inaccurate. This paper takes one step further by taking into account of the posterior distribution of the estimated model, which results in more robust active learning algorithm. Empirical studies with datasets of movie ratings show that when the number of ratings from the active user is restricted to be small, active learning methods only based on the estimated model don't perform well while the active learning method using the model distribution achieves substantially better performance.


Learning, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning

Date of this Version



Cornell University Library, Computer Science, Learning
Appears in Proceedings of the Twentieth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI2004)