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Recommender systems predict users’ preferences over a large number of items by pooling similar information from other users and/or items in the presence of sparse observations. One major challenge is how to utilize user-item specific covariates and networks describing user-item interactions in a high-dimensional situation, for accurate personalized prediction. In this article, we propose a smooth neighborhood recommender in the framework of the latent factor models. A similarity kernel is utilized to borrow neighborhood information from continuous covariates over a user-item specific network, such as a user’s social network, where the grouping information defined by discrete covariates is also integrated through the network. Consequently, user-item specific information is built into the recommender to battle the ‘cold-start” issue in the absence of observations in collaborative and content- based filtering. Moreover, we utilize a “divide-and-conquer” version of the alternating least squares algorithm to achieve scalable computation, and establish asymptotic results for the proposed method, demonstrating that it achieves superior prediction accuracy. Finally, we illustrate that the proposed method improves substantially over its competitors in simulated examples and real benchmark data–Last.fm music data.
Spatial–temporal data arise frequently in biomedical, environmental, political and social science studies. Capturing dynamic changes of time-varying correlation structure is scientifically important in spatio-temporal data analysis. We approximate the time-varying empirical estimator of the spatial correlation matrix by groups of selected basis matrices representing substructures of the correlation matrix. After projecting the correlation structure matrix onto a space spanned by basis matrices, we also incorporate varying-coefficient model selection and estimation for signals associated with relevant basis matrices. The unique feature of the proposed method is that signals at local regions corresponding with time can be identified through the proposed penalized objective function. Theoretically, we show model selection consistency and the oracle property in detecting local signals for the varying-coefficient estimators. The proposed method is illustrated through simulation studies and brain fMRI data.