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    HCF-CRS: A Hybrid Content based Fuzzy Conformal Recommender System for providing recommendations with confidence

    Ayyaz, Sundus, Qamar, Usman and Nawaz, Raheel (2018) HCF-CRS: A Hybrid Content based Fuzzy Conformal Recommender System for providing recommendations with confidence. PLoS ONE, 13 (10). ISSN 1932-6203

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    A Recommender System (RS) is an intelligent system that assists users in finding the items of their interest (e.g. books, movies, music) by preventing them to go through huge piles of data available online. In an effort to overcome the data sparsity issue in recommender systems, this research incorporates a content based filtering technique with fuzzy inference system and a conformal prediction approach introducing a new framework called Hybrid Content based Fuzzy Conformal Recommender System (HCF-CRS). The proposed framework is implemented to be used in the domain of movies and it provides quality recommendations to users with a confidence level and an improved accuracy. In our proposed framework, first, a Content Based Filtering (CBF) technique is applied to create a user profile by considering the history of each user. CBF is useful in the situations like: lack of demographic information and the data sparsity problems. Second, a Fuzzy based technique is incorporated to find the similarities and differences between the user profile and the movies in the dataset using a set of fuzzy rules to get a predicted rating for each movie. Third, a Conformal prediction algorithm is implemented to calculate the non-conformity measure between the predicted ratings produced by fuzzy system and the actual ratings from the dataset. A p-value (confidence measure) is computed to give a level of confidence to each recommended item and a bound is set on the confidence level called a significance level ε, according to which the movies only above the specified significance level are recommended to user. By building a confidence centric hybrid conformal recommender system using the content based filtering approach with fuzzy logic and conformal prediction algorithm, the reliability and the accuracy of the system is considerably enhanced. The experiments are evaluated on MovieLens and Movie Tweetings datasets for recommending movies to the users and they are compared with other state-of-the-art recommender systems. Finally, the results confirm that the proposed algorithms perform better than the traditional ones.

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