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From Pat Ferrel <>
Subject Re: User features to tailor recs in UR queries?
Date Tue, 05 Dec 2017 16:38:43 GMT
The User’s possible indicators of taste are encoded in the usage data. Gender and other “profile"
type data can be encoded a (user-id, gender, gender-id) but this is used and a secondary indicator,
not as a filter. Only item properties are used a filters for some very practical reasons.
For one thing items are what you are recommending so you would have to establish some relationship
between items and gender of buyers. The UR does this with user data in secondary indicators
but does not filter by these because they are calculated properties, not ones assigned by
humans, like “in-stock” or “language”

Location is an easy secondary indicator but needs to be encoded with “areas” not lat/lon,
so something like (user-id, location-of-purchase, country-code+postal-code) This would be
triggered when a primary event happens, such as a purchase. This way locaiton is accounted
for in making recommendations without your haveing to do anything but feed in the data.

Lat/lon roximity filters are not implemented but possible.

One thing to note is that fields used to filter or boost are very different than user taste
indicators. For one thing they are never tested for correlation with the primary event (purchase,
read, watch,…) so they can be very dangerous to use unwisely. They are best used for business
rules like only show “in-stock” or in this video carousel show only video of the “mystery”
genre. But if you use user profile data to filter recommendation you can distort what is returned
and get bad results. We once had a client that waanted to do this against out warnings, filtering
by location, gender, and several other things known about the user and got 0 lift in sales.
We convinced they to try without the “business rules” and got good lift in sales. User
taste indicators are best left to the correlation test by inputting them as user indicator
data—except where you purposely want to reduce the recommendations to a subset for a business

Piut more simply, business rules can kill the value of a recommender, let it figure out whether
and indicator matters. And always remember that indicators apply to users, filters and boosts
apply to items and known properties of items. It may seem like genre is both a user taste
indicator and an item property but if you input them in 2 ways they can be used in 2 ways.
1) to make better recommendations, 2) in business rules. They are stored and used in completely
different ways.

On Dec 5, 2017, at 7:59 AM, Noelia Osés Fernández <> wrote:

Hi all,

I have seen how to use item properties in queries to tailor the recommendations returned by
the UR.

But I was wondering whether it is possible to use user characteristics to do the same. For
example, I want to query for recs from the UR but only taking into account the history of
users that are female (or only using the history of users in the same county). Is this possible
to do?

I've been reading the UR docs but couldn't find info about this.

Thank you very much!

Best regards,

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