Collaborative user network embedding for social recommender systems

Chuxu Zhang, Lu Yu, Yan Wang, Chirag Shah, Xiangliang Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

98 Scopus citations


To address the issue of data sparsity and cold-start in recommender system, social information (e.g., user-user trust links) has been introduced to complement rating data for improving the performances of traditional model-based recommendation techniques such as matrix factorization (MF) and Bayesian personalized ranking (BPR). Although effective, the utilization of the explicit user-user relationships extracted directly from such social information has three main limitations. First, it is difficult to obtain explicit and reliable social links. Only a small portion of users indicate explicitly their trusted friends in recommender systems. Second, the "cold-start" users are "cold" not only on rating but also on socializing. There is no significant amount of explicit social information that can be useful for "cold-start" users. Third, an active user can be socially connected with others who have different taste/preference. Direct usage of explicit social links may mislead recommendation. To address these issues, we propose to extract implicit and reliable social information from user feedbacks and identify top-k semantic friends for each user. We incorporate the top-k semantic friends information into MF and BPR frameworks to solve the problems of ratings prediction and items ranking, respectively. The experimental results on three real-world datasets show that our proposed approaches achieve better results than the state-of-the-art MF with explicit social links (with 3.0% improvement on RMSE), and social BPR (with 9.1% improvement on AUC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, SDM 2017
EditorsNitesh Chawla, Wei Wang
PublisherSociety for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Publications
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781611974874
StatePublished - 2017
Event17th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, SDM 2017 - Houston, United States
Duration: Apr 27 2017Apr 29 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 17th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, SDM 2017


Conference17th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, SDM 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Bayesian personalized ranking
  • Matrix factorization
  • Network embedding
  • Social recommender systems
  • Top-k semantic friends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'Collaborative user network embedding for social recommender systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this