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From Sebastian Schelter <sebastian.schel...@zalando.de>
Subject Re: Several questions about Mahout
Date Tue, 11 May 2010 13:46:47 GMT
Hello Guillaume,

I'm not a Mahout committer, so I can't answer all of your questions, but
I'm currently writing my diploma thesis about evaluating several
recommendation approaches. The company I'm doing this for is a big
german fashion store, so I feel we kinda share the same use-case and
maybe you can profit from the things I found out so far :)
> 1/ How active is Mahout development? The last commit is very recent if I'm not mistaken.
Can we expect improvements/new features in the future?
>   

Actually very active, I filed some bug reports in the past, which were
all addressed immediately (usually on the same or next day)

> 4/ Do you reckon it is a good idea to try and use Mahout for the project I described?
>   
I think it's a good idea as I'm using it as the basis for the software
of my diploma thesis :) Mahout has support for Collaborative Filtering
(users who like this also like...) which I currently use with data about
views und sales. It has no explicit support for content-based
recommendation (where you consider the features of items like color etc)
AFAIK, but I think it offers tools that can aid you in building a
content-based recommender. One idea I'm currently evaluating is
extracting the most-liked feature combinations of each user with
Frequent Itemset Mining offered by Mahout. These combinations could then
be used to find products matching them best using a lucene search.
> 5/ How long do you reckon it would take for a programmer used to Java & database
management to get used to the framework and use it effectively in a real-world app?
>   

I can answer this from personal experience:

>From a theoretical point of view I had to read some papers on
Collaborative Filtering to get the theory behind that recommendation
approach, but that isn't too hard. For getting it done practically I had
to dive in the source code of taste which I found not too hard a thing
to do either.


I hope I could help you to get a little more insight on this,
Sebastian

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