||With the rapid growth of Internet, more and more information is disseminated in the World Wide Web. It is therefore not an easy task to acquire desired information from the Web environment due to the information overload problem. To overcome this difficulty, two major methods, information retrieval and information filtering, arise. Recommender systems that employ information filtering techniques also emerge when the users’ requirements are too vague in mind to express explicitly as keywords. |
Collaborative filtering (CF) refers to compare novel information with common interests shared by a group of people for recommendation purpose. But CF has major problem: sparsity. This problem refers to the situation that the coverage of ratings appears very sparse. With few data available, the user similarity employed in CF becomes unstable and thus unreliable in the recommendation process. Recently, several collaborative filtering variations arise to tackle the sparsity problem. One of them refers to the item-based CF as opposed to the traditional user-based CF. This approach focuses on the correlations of items based on users’ co-rating. Another popular variation is the trust-based CF. In such an approach, a second component, trust, is taken into account and employed in the recommendation process.
The objective of this research is thus to propose a hybrid approach that takes both advantages into account for better performance. We propose the item-level trust-based collaborative filtering (ITBCF) approach to alleviate the sparsity problem. We observe that ITBCF outperforms TBCF in every situation we consider. It therefore confirms our conjecture that the item-level trusts that consider neighbors can stabilize derived trust values, and thus improve the performance.