Bias Models

LensKit’s bias models represent gobal, user, and item biases, used for item scoring and normalization. The general form of a bias model, realized by the BiasModel interface and its implementations, is to define a bias \(b_{ui}\) as follows:

\[b_{ui} = b + b_i + b_u\]

This decomposes a user-item baseline score into a global bias \(b\) (the getIntercept() method of BiasModel), an item bias \(b_i\) (getItemBias(i)), and a user bias \(b_u\) (getUserBias(u)). Unknown items and users are assumed to have biases of 0, so that computations with bias models cleanly fall back to assuming users and items are average.

LensKit provides several different ways of computing bias models.

Biases in Rating Data

When working with rating data, the standard bias model is to compute user and item mean ratings:

\[\begin{align*} b_{ui} & = b + b_i + b_u \\ b & = \mu = \frac{\sum_{r_{ui} \in R} r_{ui}}{|R|} \\ b_i & = \frac{\sum_{r_{ui} \in R_i} (r_{ui} - \mu)}{|R_i|} \\ b_u & = \frac{\sum_{r_{ui} \in R_u} (r_{ui} - b_i)}{|R_u|} \end{align*}\]

We compute \(b_i\) before \(b_u\) because, in typical systems with more users than items, item biases tend to be more stable than user biases.

Bias implementations

LensKit provides several bias model implementations, along with providers that compute them from rating data. You can implement your own provider to compute them from other types of data.

Most of these implementations are precomputed: they do not update based on rating data added since the model was built.

Global Bias Only

The global bias model computes only a global bias; it sets \(b_u=b_i=0\) for all users and items. To use the global bias model computed over ratings, use the following configuration:

bind BiasModel to GlobalBiasModel

Alternatively, you can bind directly to the provider:

bind BiasModel toProvider GlobalAverageRatingBiasModelProvider

Item Bias Only

The item-only bias model, ItemBiasModel, computes the global bias \(b\) and item biases \(b_i\), but leaves user biases set to 0. To use:

bind BiasModel to ItemBiasModel

Or bind to the provider:

bind BiasModel toProvider ItemAverageRatingBiasModelProvider

User Bias Only

The user-only bias model UserBiasModel (and its associated provider UserAverageRatingBiasModelProvider) is like the item bias model, but only computes global and per-user biases.

User-Item Bias

The complete bias model is implemented by UserItemBiasModel, and computed by UserItemAverageRatingBiasModelProvider. To use:

bind BiasModel to UserItemBiasModel

Live User Bias

The bias model LiveUserItemBiasModel is like UserItemBiasModel, except that it computes per-user biases live: it retrieves the user’s ratings from the data source and computes their bias \(b_u\). Per-item biases \(b_i\) and the global bias \(b\) are still precomputed.

Scoring with Biases

The bias model can be directly used to score items:

bind ItemScorer to BiasItemScorer
bind BiasModel to UserItemBiasModel

Normalizing with Biases

Bias models can also be directly used for normalizing user and item vectors:


Normalizes user vectors (whose keys are item IDs) by subtracting \(b_{ui}\).


Normalizes item vectors (whose keys are user IDs) by subtracting \(b_{ui}\).

results matching ""

    No results matching ""