LCARS: A Location-Content-Aware Recommender System

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Conference Proceeding
ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, 2013, pp. 221 - 229
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Newly emerging location-based and event-based social network services provide us with a new platform to understand users preferences based on their activity history. A user can only visit a limited number of venues/events and most of them are within a limited distance range, so the user-item matrix is very sparse, which creates a big challenge for traditional collaborative filtering-based recommender systems. The problem becomes more challenging when people travel to a new city where they have no activity history. In this paper, we propose LCARS, a location-content-aware recommender system that offers a particular user a set of venues (e.g., restaurants) or events (e.g., concerts and exhibitions) by giving consideration to both personal interest and local preference. This recommender system can facilitate peoples travel not only near the area in which they live, but also in a city that is new to them. Specifically, LCARS consists of two components: offline modeling and online recommendation. The offline modeling part, called LCA- LDA, is designed to learn the interest of each individual user and the local preference of each individual city by capturing item co- occurrence patterns and exploiting item contents. The online recommendation part automatically combines the learnt interest of the querying user and the local preference of the querying city to produce the top-k recommendations. To speed up this online process, a scalable query processing technique is developed by extending the classic Threshold Algorithm (TA). We evaluate the performance of our recommender system on two large-scale real data sets, Douban- Event and Foursquare. The results show the superiority of LCARS in recommending spatial items for users, especially when traveling to new cities, in terms of both effectiveness and efficiency.
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