In content- and knowledge-based recommender systems often a measure of (dis)similarity between products is used. Frequently, this measure is based on the attributes of the products. However, which attributes are important for the users of the system remains an important question to answer. In this paper, we present two approaches to determine attribute weights in a dissimilarity measure based on product popularity. We count how many times products are sold and based on this, we create two models to determine attribute weights: a Poisson regression model and a novel boosting model minimizing Poisson deviance. We evaluate these two models in two ways, namely using a clickstream analysis on four different product catalogs and a user experiment. The clickstream analysis shows that for each product catalog the standard equal weights model is outperformed by at least one of the weighting models. The user experiment shows that users seem to have a different notion of product similarity in an experimental context.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management