New and Improved: Modeling Versions to Improve App Recommendation
Research Area: Information Retrieval Year: 2014
Type of Publication: In Proceedings Keywords: Version sensitive, Recommender systems, Mobile apps, App store
  • Jovian Lin
  • Kazunari Sugiyama
  • Min-Yen Kan
  • Tat-Seng Chua
Journal's acceptance rate (%): 21%  
Existing recommender systems usually model items as static -- unchanging in attributes, description, and features. However, in domains such as mobile apps, a version update may provide substantial changes to an app as updates, reflected by an increment in its version number, may attract a consumer's interest for a previously unappealing version. Version descriptions constitute an important recommendation evidence source as well as a basis for understanding the rationale for a recommendation. We present a novel framework that incorporates features distilled from version descriptions into app recommendation. We use a semi-supervised topic model to construct a representation of an app's version as a set of latent topics from version metadata and textual descriptions. We then discriminate the topics based on genre information and weight them on a per-user basis to generate a version-sensitive ranked list of apps for a target user. Incorporating our version features with state-of-the-art individual and hybrid recommendation techniques significantly improves recommendation quality. An important advantage of our method is that it targets particular versions of apps, allowing previously disfavored apps to be recommended when user-relevant features are added.
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