Tracking Multiple Topics for Finding Interesting Articles

author: Raymond Pon, Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA
published: Sept. 14, 2007,   recorded: September 2007,   views: 4123

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We introduce multiple topic tracking (MTT) for iScore to better recommend news articles for users with multiple interests and to address changes in user interests over time. As an extension of the basic Rocchio algorithm, traditional topic detection and tracking, and single-pass clustering, MTT maintains multiple interest profiles to identify interesting articles for a specific user given user-feedback. Focusing on only interesting topics enables iScore to discard useless profiles to address changes in user interests and to achieve a balance between resource consumption and classification accuracy. Also by relating a topic’s interestingness to an article’s interestingness, iScore is able to achieve higher quality results than traditional methods such as the Rocchio algorithm. We identify several operating parameters that work well for MTT. Using the same parameters, we show that MTT alone yields high quality results for recommending interesting articles from several corpora. The inclusion of MTT improves iScore’s performance by 9% in recommending news articles from the Yahoo! News RSS feeds and the TREC11 adaptive filter article collection. And through a small user study, we show that iScore can still perform well when only provided with little user feedback.

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Reviews and comments:

Comment1 GeorgeF, September 16, 2007 at 5:42 p.m.:

I liked this paper. I suggest that it would work well for identifying a fixed class consisting of disjunctive topics. But for identifying "intesting articles for a person", this approach is still simplistic. Once I read 1 article about news item X, I am not interested to read all news articles that fall very close to X.

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