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Recommendation systems in the scope of opinion formation: a model

Marcel Blattner, Matus Medo

posted on 14 August 2012

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Aggregated data in real world recommender applications often feature fat-tailed distributions of the number of times individual items have been rated or favored. We propose a model to simulate such data. The model is mainly based on social interactions and opinion formation taking place on a complex network with a given topology. A threshold mechanism is used to govern the decision making process that determines whether a user is or is not interested in an item. We demonstrate the validity of the model by fitting attendance distributions from different real data sets. The model is mathematically analyzed by investigating its master equation. Our approach provides an attempt to understand recommender system's data as a social process. The model can serve as a starting point to generate artificial data sets useful for testing and evaluating recommender systems.