Institute of Information Science Academia Sinica
Topic: Exploring Social Influence for Recommendation
Speaker: Prof. Wang-Chien Lee (Penn State University )
Date: 2012-07-02 (Mon) 10:30 – 12:00
Location: Auditorium 106 at new IIS Building
Host: De-Nian Yang


Social friendship has been shown beneficial for item recommendation for years. However, existing approaches mostly incorporate social friendship into recommender systems by heuristics. In this talk, I will present an approach to quantitatively capture the social influence between friends. We propose to use a probabilistic generative model, called social influenced selection (SIS), to model the decision making of item selection (e.g., what book to buy or where to dine). Based on SIS, we mine the social influence between linked friends and the personal preferences of users through statistical inference. To address the challenges arising from multiple layers of hidden factors in SIS, we develop a new parameter learning algorithm based on expectation maximization (EM). Moreover, we show that the mined social influence and user preferences are valuable for group recommendation and viral marketing.


Wang-Chien Lee is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, where he leads the Pervasive Data Access

(PDA) Research Group to pursue cross-area research in data management, pervasive/mobile computing, and networking. He is particularly interested in developing data management techniques (including accessing, routing, indexing, caching, aggregation, dissemination, query processing, mining, and knowledge discovering) for supporting complex queries and location-based services in a wide spectrum of networking and mobile environments such as peer-to-peer networks, mobile ad-hoc networks, wireless sensor networks, and wireless broadcast systems. Meanwhile, he also works on XML, security, information integration/retrieval, and object-oriented databases. He has published more than 200 technical papers on these topics. Recently, his research interests have been geared towards recommendation services for location-based social networks.

Prof. Lee is very active in academic services. He is the program co-chair of ICDCS 2012. He was the founding TPC chair of MDM, a tutorial speaker of ICDE, and the TPC chair of IEEE SUTC and IEEE INFOSCALE. He served as a TPC member of numerous prestigious international conferences, such as VLDB, INFOCOM, ICDE, ICNP, ICDCS, and CIKM, etc. He was as a guest editor of IEEE Trans. on Computer, IEEE Personal Communications Magazine, ACM Wireless Networks Journal, and ACM Mobile Networks and Applications Journal.