Bayesian Adaptive User Profiling with Explicit & Implicit Feedback

Philip Zigoris, Yi Zhang
University of California, Santa Cruz

Obstacles to Personalization
1. Asking for feedback is intrusive.
Implicit Feedback - Infer user feedback from user behavior.

Little to no information about new users (the “cold-start problem”).
Borrow information from existing users via Bayesian hierarchical model.

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Outline
• Implicit Feedback • Hierarchical Bayesian Framework • Gaussian Network • Experiments

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Implicit Feedback
A user’s interaction with a document suggests their opinion of it. Includes:
– – – – Keyboard usage Mouse usage Viewing time Eye-tracking

Appeal: cheap! *
*Modulo security issues

Question: Does it have any predictive value?
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Is Implicit Feedback Useful?
• Yes
– Positive correlation between the time spent viewing a page and a user’s opinion of the page. [Claypool et al., 2001; Fox et al., 2005]

• No (sometimes)
– In Kelly et al., 2004 demonstrates that correlation varies significantly across tasks.

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Outline
• Implicit Feedback • Hierarchical Bayesian Framework • Gaussian Network • Experiments

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The Task at Hand
Doc Rating

f
I Like!
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X1 X2 X3

Y1 Y2 Y3

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Cold-Start Problem
• Personalized systems require training data. • Users do not want to endure poor performance while the system is “learning”. Solution: Give the system a headstart with some (Bayesian) prior knowledge.
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Bayesian Prior over User Profiles

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User-Model Space

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Hierarchical User Model
Generic Form

f ~ P( f |q)
u

y ~ f (x)
u

Parameter describing prior distribution

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Refining Beliefs Based on User Data

),(x ,(x 3 )) 5 ),K 4 4 P( f |q,(x1, y1 )) 2 , y 2 , y 3 )) |q) 5
u
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The Posterior Distribution
P( f |q,D ) =
u u

P(D | f ,q)P( f |q) u P(D |q)
u u u

Maximum A Posteriori model:

f

u MAP

=

Influence of prior argmax[ P( f
f f

Data likelihood |q)P(D | f )]
u u

= arg ma x [log(P( f |q))  +   log(P(D | f ))]
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Tradeoff: Prior vs. Data
More data data likelihood term will dominate the objective function.

log(P(D | f )) = log(Õ P( f (x i ) = y i )) = å log(P( f (x i ) = y i ))
u

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Outline
• Implicit Feedback • Hierarchical Bayesian Framework • Gaussian Network • Experiments

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Gaussian Network
w
u

~ ~

N(m,S) N(x ×w ,k )
T u 2 u

y
u w MAP

é ù 1 = argminê(w - m)T S- 1 (w - m) + å (x T ×w - y i ) 2 ú i ku i w ë û
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Learning the Prior from Existing Users
Unbiased estimator for prior parameters:

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Outline
• Implicit Feedback • Hierarchical Bayesian Framework • Gaussian Network • Experiments

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Experimental Datasets
Claypool
•75 Student Volunteers, 1823 Documents •Unguided, unrestricted web browsing for 20-30 minutes •Every document explicitly rated (Scale 1 to 5)

Zhang
•15 Users, 4663 Documents •1 month, users spent >1 hour everyday using system • Focused on reading news articles •Not every document is explicitly rated (Scale 1 to 5) •Includes other forms of explicit feedback (TBA)
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Feature Sets
Type Explicit(Zhang) Implicit Document Examples
•Relevance Score •Readability Score •Mouse usage •Keyboard usage •Time spent on page •Document length •Speed of host server •Number of pages linking to host server

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Evaluation Methodology
• Tested four models
– – – – Linear model with (P)rior Linear model with (N)o prior (G)eneric, user-independent model Moving (A)verage

• Original ordering preserved • Leave-one-user-out • Model updated and evaluated (error2) after every example
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Summary of Results
Explicit Implicit & Explicit Implicit

Performance (MSE) averaged over time and user.

Hierarchical model significantly* outperforms other methods.
* (95% Wilcoxon signed rank test) 11/8/2006 Bayesian Profiling with Explicit & Implicit Feedback 21

Performance Over Time
Explicit & Implicit Feedback
Shifting rating bias…

“Personalization” seems to begin
Prior getting in the way
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Performance Over Time
Implicit Feedback Only (Zhang et al)
Follows moving average

Implicit feedback becomes useful

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Performance Over Time
Implicit Feedback Only (Claypool et al)

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Comparative Performance with Different Feature Sets
Implicit feedback hurts performance Implicit feedback benefits performance

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Discussion: The Dynamics of the User Model

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Discussion: Is Implicit Feedback Useful? Why?
Error can be decomposed into: • Bias - How closely the learning algorithm can approximate the best
solution.

• Variance - Sensitivity of learning algorithm to the training sample. • Noise - Irreducible uncertainty of problem
Including implicit feedback increases variance. This explains why: •Negative impact on early performance •Requires substantial amount of training data to be useful. Linear model has strong bias. This may explain why: •Implicit feedback does not perform well on its own.
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Discussion: Shifting User Behavior
Implicit assumption of our model: User behavior is consistent over time. • Already observed shifting bias in rating. • Also, observed shifts in keyboard and mouse usage.

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Conclusion
• Implicit feedback (of the type used in our study) has marginal predictive value.
– A question of when, not if – Requires personalization – Requires lots of data

• Hierarchical model effectively alleviates coldstart problem • Shifting user behavior exists
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Thank You!

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