Session 5a: News and Media

Date: Friday, Sept 18, 2015, 16:30-18:00
Location: HS 1
Chair: Tsvi Kuflik

  • Predicting Online Performance of News Recommender Systems Through Richer Evaluation Metrics
    by Andrii Maksai, Florent Garcin and Boi Faltings

    We investigate how metrics that can be measured offine can be used to predict the online performance of recommender systems, thus avoiding costly A-B testing. In addition to accuracy metrics, we combine diversity, coverage, and serendipity metrics to create a new performance model. Using the model, we quantify the trade-off between different metrics and propose to use it to tune the parameters of recommender algorithms without the need for online testing. Another application for the model is a self-adjusting algorithm blend that optimizes a recommender’s parameters over time. We evaluate our findings on data and experiments from news websites.

  • Beyond ‘Hitting the Hits’ – Generating Coherent Music Playlist Continuations with the Right Tracks
    by Dietmar Jannach, Lukas Lerche and Iman Kamehkhosh

    Automated playlist generation is a special form of music recommendation and a common feature of digital music playing applications. A particular challenge of the task is that the recommended items should not only match the general listener’s preference but should also be coherent with the most recently played tracks. In this work, we propose a novel algorithmic approach and optimization scheme to generate playlist continuations that address these requirements. In our approach, we first use collections of shared music playlists, music metadata, and user preferences to select suitable tracks with high accuracy. Next, we apply a generic re-ranking optimization scheme to generate playlist continuations that match the characteristics of the last played tracks. An empirical evaluation on three collections of shared playlists shows that the combination of different input signals helps us to achieve high accuracy during track selection and that the re-ranking technique can both help to balance different quality optimization goals and to further increase accuracy.

  • Content Driven User Profiling for Comment-Worthy Recommendations of News and Blog Articles
    by Trapit Bansal, Mrinal Das and Chiranjib Bhattacharyya

    We consider the problem of recommending comment-worthy articles such as news and blog-posts. An article is defined to be comment-worthy for a particular user if that user is interested to leave a comment on it. We note that recommending comment-worthy articles calls for elicitation of commenting-interests of the user from the content of both the articles and the past comments made by users. We thus propose to develop content-driven user profiles to elicit these latent interests of users in commenting and use them to recommend articles for future commenting. The difficulty of modeling comment content and the varied nature of users’ commenting interests make the problem technically challenging.

    The problem of recommending comment-worthy articles is resolved by leveraging article and comment content through topic modeling and the co-commenting pattern of users through collaborative filtering, combined within a novel hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach. Our solution, Collaborative Correspondence Topic Models (CCTM), generates user profiles which are leveraged to provide a personalized ranking of comment-worthy articles for each user. Through these content-driven user profiles, CCTM effectively handle the ubiquitous problem of cold-start without relying on additional meta-data. The inference problem for the model is intractable with no off-the-shelf solution and we develop an efficient Monte Carlo EM algorithm. CCTM is evaluated on three real world data-sets, crawled from two blogs, ArsTechnica (AT) Gadgets (102,087 comments) and AT-Science (71,640 comments), and a news site, DailyMail (33,500 comments). We show average improvement of 14% (warm-start) and 18% (cold-start) in AUC, and 80% (warm-start) and 250% (cold-start) in Hit-Rank@5, over state of the art.

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