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Recommendation Systems in a Conversational Web

In this paper we redefine the concept of Conversation Web in the context of hyper-personalization. We argue that hyper-personalization in the WWW is only possible within a conversational web where websites and users continuously “discuss” (interact in any way). We present a modular system architecture for the conversational WWW, given that adapting to various user profiles and multivariate websites in terms of size and user traffic is necessary, especially in e-commerce. Obviously there cannot be a unique fit-to-all algorithm, but numerous complementary personalization algorithms and techniques are needed. In this context, we propose PRCW, a novel hybrid approach combining offline and online recommendations using RFMG, an extension of RFM modeling. We evaluate our approach against the results of a deep neural network in two datasets coming from different online retailers. Our evaluation indicates that a) the proposed approach outperforms current state-of-art methods in small-medium datasets and can improve performance in large datasets when combined with other methods, b) results can greatly vary in different datasets, depending on size and characteristics, thus locating the proper method for each dataset can be a rather complex task, and c) offline algorithms should be combined with online methods in order to get optimal results since offline algorithms tend to offer better performance but online algorithms are necessary for exploiting new users and trends that turn up.

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E-commerce Personalization with Elasticsearch

Personalization techniques are constantly gaining traction among e-commerce retailers, since major advancements have been made at research level and the benefits are clear and pertinent. However, effectively applying personalization in real life is a challenging task, since the proper mixture of technology, data and content is complex and differs between organizations. In fact, personalization applications such as personalized search remain largely unfulfilled, especially by small and medium sized retailers, due to time and space limitations. In this paper we propose a novel approach for near real-time personalized e-commerce search that provides improved personalized results within the limited accepted time frames required for online browsing. We propose combining features such as product popularity, user interests, and query-product relevance with collaborative filtering, and implement our solution in Elasticsearch in order to achieve acceptable execution timings. We evaluate our approach against a publicly available dataset, as well as a running e-commerce store.

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A hierarchical multi-metric framework for item clustering

Item clustering is commonly used for dimensionality reduction, uncovering item similarities and connections, gaining insights of the market structure and recommendations. Hierarchical clustering methods produce a hierarchy structure along with the clusters that can be useful for managing item categories and sub-categories, dealing with indirect competition and new item categorization as well. Nevertheless, baseline hierarchical clustering algorithms have high computational cost and memory usage. In this paper we propose an innovative scalable hierarchical clustering framework, which overcomes these limitations. Our work consists of a binary tree construction algorithm that creates a hierarchy of the items using three metrics, a) Identity, b) Similarity and c) Entropy, as well as a branch breaking algorithm which composes the final clusters by applying thresholds to each branch of the tree. ȉhe proposed framework is evaluated on the popular MovieLens 20M dataset achieving significant reduction in both memory consumption and computational time over a baseline hierarchical clustering algorithm.

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Banner Personalization for e-commerce

Real-time website personalization is a concept that is being discussed for more than a decade, but has only recently been applied in practice, according to new marketing trends. These trends emphasize on delivering user-specific content based on behavior and preferences. In this context, banner recommendation in the form of personalized ads is an approach that has attracted a lot of attention. Nevertheless, banner recommendation in terms of e-commerce main page sliders and static banners is even today an underestimated problem, as traditionally only large e-commerce stores deal with it. In this paper we propose an integrated framework for banner personalization in e-commerce that can be applied in small-medium e-retailers. Our approach combines topic-models and a neural network, in order to recommend and optimally rank available banners of an e-commerce store to each user separately. We evaluated our framework against a dataset from an active e-commerce store and show that it outperforms other popular approaches.

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