Expert-driven validation of rule-based user models in personalization applications

Gediminas Adomavicius, Alexander Tuzhilin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


In many e-commerce applications, ranging from dynamic Web content presentation, to personalized ad targeting, to individual recommendations to the customers, it is important to build personalized profiles of individual users from their transactional histories. These profiles constitute models of individual user behavior and can be specified with sets of rules learned from user transactional histories using various data mining techniques. Since many discovered rules can be spurious, irrelevant, or trivial, one of the main problems is how to perform post-analysis of the discovered rules, i.e., how to validate user profiles by separating "good" rules from the "bad." This validation process should be done with an explicit participation of the human expert. However, complications may arise because there can be very large numbers of rules discovered in the applications that deal with many users, and the expert cannot perform the validation on a rule-by-rule basis in a reasonable period of time. This paper presents a framework for building behavioral profiles of individual users. It also introduces a new approach to expert-driven validation of a very large number of rules pertaining to these users. In particular, it presents several types of validation operators, including rule grouping, filtering, browsing, and redundant rule elimination operators, that allow a human expert validate many individual rules at a time. By iteratively applying such operators, the human expert can validate a significant part of all the initially discovered rules in an acceptable time period. These validation operators were implemented as a part of a one-to-one profiling system. The paper also presents a case study of using this system for validating individual user rules discovered in a marketing application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-58
Number of pages26
JournalData Mining and Knowledge Discovery
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001


  • Personalization
  • Post-analysis
  • Profiling
  • Rule discovery
  • Validation

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