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Ranking and Suggesting Popular Items

Milan Vojnovic, James Cruise, Dinan Gunawardena, and Peter Marbach


We consider the problem of ranking popularity of items and suggesting popular items based on user feedback. User feedback is obtained by iteratively presenting a set of suggested items, and users selecting items based on their own preferences either from this suggestion set or from the set of all possible items. The goal is to quickly learn the true popularity ranking of items (unbiased by the made suggestions), and suggest true popular items. The difficulty is that making suggestions to users can reinforce popularity of some items and distort the resulting item ranking. The described problem of ranking and suggesting items arises in diverse applications including search query suggestions and tag suggestions for social tagging systems. We propose and study several algorithms for ranking and suggesting popular items, provide analytical results on their performance, and present numerical results obtained using the inferred popularity of tags from a month-long crawl of a popular social bookmarking service. Our results suggest that lightweight, randomized update rules that require no special configuration parameters provide good performance.


Publication typeArticle
Published inIEEE Trans. on Knowledge and Data Engineering
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
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