Journal of Computer and System Sciences

Recommendation systems: A probabilistic analysis

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A recommendation system tracks past actions of a group of users to make recommendations to individual members of the group. The growth of computer-mediated marketing and commerce has led to increased interest in such systems. We introduce a simple analytical framework for recommendation systems, including a basis for defining the utility of such a system. We perform probabilistic analyses of algorithms within this framework. These analyses yield insights into how much utility can be derived from knowledge of past user actions.