PhD Research Proposal: Trust-aware Decentralized Recommender Systems

I realised today I didn’t write yet an entry about my PhD Research Proposal “Trust-aware Decentralized Recommender Systems” (TaDRS).
So here it is the PDF file. If you have any comment or criticism, I’ll be happy to hear from you.
The PhD research proposal is a little bit outdated (29th May 2003) but I didn’t have a blog at that time. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

This PhD thesis addresses the following problem: exploiting of trust information in order to enhance the accuracy and the user acceptance of current Recommender Systems (RS). RSs suggest to users items they will probably like. Up to now, current RSs mainly generate recommendations based on users’ opinions on items. Nowadays, with the growth of online communities, e-marketplaces, weblogs and peer-to-peer networks, a new kind of information is available: rating expressed by an user on another user (trust). We analyze current RS weaknesses and show how use of trust can overcome them. We proposed a solution about exploiting of trust into RSs and underline what experiments we will run in order to test our solution.

Scraping a site is ethical?

At =-” href=””>Rolan the Datapimp, Alex asks himself if collecting data automatically with a script is legal or ethical.
Actually I scraped site for data and I don’t care too much about this nonsense copyright mess.
I really don’t understand these strange licences (or ToS, Term of Service). Could I say that this site can be accessed only on thursday if the humidity is above 3 something? That the email I send you can be read only with a certain program and only between 3pm and 4pm?
I totally agree with Alex when he says
… I could pay a few students minimum wage to record this data manually. Would that be acceptable? What if I had them sit in a lab and hit each page, saving a local copy? This would appear exactly the same as a scraper to Orkut, and would yield exactly the same results, but would presumably be acceptable.
Basically, I think noone can tell me how I can experience some digital content. I agree with World of Ends
You are never going to prevent us from copying the bits we want.

Reminder for myself: I need to open a webpage with “impossible-to-accomplish licences and ToS”.

Is better Yahoo! or Google? You decide.

Yahoo dumps Google search technology. You can decide by yourself if Yahoo! is better than Google by comparing search results on this double-search-page (found via OlandeseVolante).

Stop using Internet Explorer

Get FirefoxA wonderful alternative: FireFox


Reviewr “ties into the API exposed by Ludicorp’s […] new social software application, Flickr and hooks it up to the API exposed by Amazon. The point is that using Reviewr allows you to search for reviews of products by people you know and trust.” (via Hublog)
Interestingly, as I was proposing in a previous post, Friendr limits the number of contacts an user can have. It was not a totally dumb idea after all…
Check the services already created using the API and the services documentation (1, 2)

Best social software? Orkut? No, Epinions.

I tend to agree with Danah about Orkut. In particular, I think Orkut does not model the real social network of an user. I speak of Orkut because is the buzz of the moment and its being in affiliation with google makes it the big expectation. But the same arguments could be used against many of the social network applications listed on socialsoftwareweblog.

The question is: “Why should I not accept an invitation from a totally unknown user that pretends to be my friend?” There is no negative consequence in adding someone as friend.
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Back to Italy

It is already 2 weeks since I came back to Italy but I haven’t had time to realize it.
I have spent the past 3 months at the Computer Science department of University of Maryland and it was a very useful and interesting period.
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3 videos you are not going to see in Tv (at least in Italy)

1. Helicopter Killing (Via Joi)
This is not a computer game. Description on demand media
Link to Bittorrent file

2. Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam in 1983 (via Indymedia or The national security archive)
Link to wmv file
Saddam’s process will be interesting.

3. 14 spots against bush created by volunteers at bushin30seconds (via New Global Vision)
Link to page Link to Quicktime file

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