Rating Prediction based on Optimal Review Topics: A Proposed Latent Factors-Optimal Topics Hybrid Approach

James Chambua


Rating prediction is an inevitable problem which recommender systems (RS) need to address. Its goal is to accurately predict the rating a user will assign to a particular item. Predictions which utilize numerical ratings and review texts are biased and have low accuracy. Also, existing topic-based rating prediction approaches focus on finding the most preferred items through the identification of latent topics expressed in users’ review texts. Even though the latent topics seem to represent most user review texts, they do not necessarily capture each user’s preferences. The goal of this work is then to develop a more accurate model by considering product review texts analysis so as to gain additional preference knowledge. Hence, a hybrid algorithm that optimizes the latent topics is proposed.  Specifically, the proposed approach finds appropriate weights for the topics of each review text. Rating prediction is critical task for RS because slight performance enhancement of the prediction accuracy results into significant improvements in recommendations. Experimental evaluation over real-world datasets revealed performance improvements of the proposed approach compared to alternative models. The proposed model can be used by RS in various domain such as e-learning, movie and hotel rating.


Keywords: Rating prediction, topic modeling, latent factor model, sailor assignment problem, review texts

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