Guide to Recommender Systems Book Online

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hi all,

This year one of my goals is to write a book such as a guide to teach recommender systems for programmers. I know there are several textbooks that focus on providing a theorical foundation for recommender systems, and as result, may seem difficult to understand. For programmers that want to learn how to start to use or understand the components of a recommender system, this book is what they are looking for.  

This guide follows a learn-by-doing approach. Therefore, I will use theory and apply it through the exercises and experiment with Python code.  I hope when you complete the book you will be able to understand how to build a recommender system and give you the first steps to apply them at your own systems. The textbook is laid out as a series of small steps that will guide you for undestanding the recommender system techniques. 

This book is available for download for free under a Creative Commons license. This project is also leaded by my colleague Ricardo Caspirro, who will review and translate it to portuguese language.

Below I provide the table of contents of the book.

Guide to Recommender Systems

The link for the online guide is available here.

Table of Contents

Chapter 01: Introduction to Recommender Systems

Finding out what recommender system is and what problems it solves. And a fast review of what you will be able to do when you finish this book.

Chapter 02: Collaborative Filtering

This chapter focus on how you can use the state-of-the-art techniques of collaborative filtering that makes automatic predictions (filtering) about the interests of a user by collecting preferences or taste information from similar users (user-based) or similar items( item-based).

Chapter 03: Content Based Filtering
Recommender systems that  suggest an item to a user based upon a description of the item and a profile of the user's interests. Although thedetails of various systems differ, content-based recommendation systems share in common a means for describing the items that may be recommended, a means for creating a profile of the user that describes the types of items the user likes, and a means of comparing items to the user profile to determine what to recommend. 

Chapter 04: Hybrid Based Filtering
This chapter will focus how to pick the best features of collaborative and of content and mix them to build hybrid recommender systems. It will present the current work on this field and an example of  how it works and how you can decide the best strategy to select.

Chapter 05:  Model - Based Recommenders
Techniques that will include memory-based techniques or data mining techniques such as association analysis, symbolic data analysis and classification/clustering techniques will be covered in this chapter.

Chapter 06:  Evaluation of Recommender Systems
This chapter starts with a short description on how to evaluate the recommender systems and the commonly used metrics for compare the recommender algorithms in the development and deployment stages.

Chapter 07:  Recommender Systems and Distributed-Computing
Recommender Systems suffer with sparse matrices where the user x items preferences are sparsed (lots of missing values - preferences). It results on large datasets with millions of items, users and preferences.  For this task it is considered to use distributed computing techniques such as map-reduce to distribute the recommendations. This chapter will cover those topics.

Chapter 08:  Study Case
It will present a study case of a mobile recommender system for recommend users to another users using several techniques showed above and how we tested and deployed it.

Chapter 09:  Recommender Systems the Next Generation
This chapter brings the next generation of recommender systems, describing what the research is going after in several fields such as ubiquity, semmantics, etc.

Chapter 10:  Meeting Python-RecSys Framework
It will present the Python-RecSys framework for building recommender systems with Python in a easy way. It will describe how to build or test already implemented techniques or develop new ones and deploy them with frameworks Web and REST.

This book is under development, please let me know if there are any suggestions or corrections to make over one of those chapters. If you see that there is a topic that needs an extra chapter or a topic that I am missing, please also let me know and comment.

I hope you enjoy this work, specially the developers!


Marcel Caraciolo