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Creators/Authors contains: "Gilbert, John R"

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  1. Recommender system data presents unique challenges to the data mining, machine learning, and algorithms communities. The high missing data rate, in combination with the large scale and high dimensionality that is typical of recommender systems data, requires new tools and methods for efficient data analysis. Here, we address the challenge of evaluating similarity between two users in a recommender system, where for each user only a small set of ratings is available. We present a new similarity score, that we call LiRa, based on a statistical model of user similarity, for large-scale, discrete valued data with many missing values. We show that this score, based on a ratio of likelihoods, is more effective at identifying similar users than traditional similarity scores in user-based collaborative filtering, such as the Pearson correlation coefficient. We argue that our approach has significant potential to improve both accuracy and scalability in collaborative filtering.
  2. We study the performance of linear solvers for graph Laplacians based on the combinatorial cycle adjustment methodology proposed by [Kelner-Orecchia-Sidford-Zhu STOC-13]. The approach finds a dual flow solution to this linear system through a sequence of flow adjustments along cycles. We study both data structure oriented and recursive methods for handling these adjustments. The primary difficulty faced by this approach, updating and querying long cycles, motivated us to study an important special case: instances where all cycles are formed by fundamental cycles on a length n path. Our methods demonstrate significant speedups over previous implementations, and are competitive with standard numerical routines.