A Novel Evidence-Based Bayesian Similarity Measure for Recommender Systems

Guibing Guo, Jie Zhang, Neil Yorke-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


User-based collaborative filtering, a widely used nearest neighbour-based recommendation technique, predicts an item’s rating by aggregating its ratings from similar users. User similarity is traditionally calculated by cosine similarity or the Pearson correlation coefficient. However, both of these measures consider only the direction of rating vectors, and suffer from a range of drawbacks. To overcome these issues, we propose a novel Bayesian similarity measure based on the Dirichlet distribution, taking into consideration both the direction and length of rating vectors. We posit that not all the rating pairs should be equally counted in order to accurately model user correlation. Three different evidence factors are designed to compute the weights of rating pairs. Further, our principled method reduces correlation due to chance and potential system bias. Experimental results on six real-world datasets show that our method achieves superior accuracy in comparison with counterparts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalACM Transactions on the Web
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Algorithms
  • Performance
  • Recommender systems
  • Bayesian similarity
  • similarity measure
  • Dirichlet distribution

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