Year of Publication

2014

Season of Publication

Fall

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences (MS)

Department

Computing

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Computing

First Advisor

Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherif Elfayoumy

Third Advisor

Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy

Department Chair

Dr. Asai Asaithambi

College Dean

Dr. Mark Tumeo

Abstract

Recommendation systems make it easier for an individual to navigate through large datasets by recommending information relevant to the user. Companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, and others utilize these types of systems in order to increase revenue by providing personalized recommendations. Recommendation systems generally use one of the two techniques: collaborative filtering (i.e., collective intelligence) and content-based filtering.

Systems using collaborative filtering recommend items based on a community of users, their preferences, and their browsing or shopping behavior. Examples include Netflix, Amazon shopping, and Last.fm. This approach has been proven effective due to increased popularity, and its accuracy improves as its pool of users expands. However, the weakness with this approach is the Cold Start problem. It is difficult to recommend items that are either brand new or have no user activity.

Systems that use content-based filtering recommend items based on extracted information from the actual content. A popular example of this approach is Pandora Internet Radio. This approach overcomes the Cold Start problem. However, the main issue with this approach is its heavy demand on computational power. Also, the semantic meaning of an item may not be taken into account when producing recommendations.

In this thesis, a hybrid approach is proposed by utilizing the strengths of both collaborative and content-based filtering techniques. As proof-of-concept, a hybrid music recommendation system was developed and evaluated by users. The results show that this system effectively tackles the Cold Start problem and provides more variation on what is recommended.

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