On the selection of the correct number of terms for profile construction: Theoretical and empirical analysis
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Information retrievalPolitician recommendationUser profiles
Information Sciences 430–431 (2018) 142–162
SponsorshipThis work has been funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad under projects TIN2013-42741-P and TIN2016-77902-C3-2-P, and the European Regional Development Fund ( ERDF-FEDER ).
In this paper, we examine the problem of building a user profile from a set of documents. This profile will consist of a subset of the most representative terms in the documents that best represent user preferences or interests. Inspired by the discrete concentration theory we have conducted an axiomatic study of seven properties that a selection function should fulfill: the minimum and maximum uncertainty principle, invariant to adding zeros, invariant to scale transformations, principle of nominal increase, transfer principle and the richest get richer inequality. We also present a novel selection function based on the use of similarity metrics, and more specifically the cosine measure which is commonly used in information retrieval, and demonstrate that this verifies six of the properties in addition to a weaker variant of the transfer principle, thereby representing a good election approach. The theoretical study was complemented with an empirical study to compare the performance of different selection criteria (weight- and unweight-based) using real data in a parliamentary setting. In this study, we analyze the performance of the different functions focusing on the two main factors affecting the selection process: profile size (number of terms) and weight distribution. These profiles are then used in a document filtering task to show that our similarity-based approach performs well in terms not only of recommendation accuracy but also efficiency (we obtain smaller profiles and consequently faster recommendations).