A Recommender System is a process that seeks to predict user preferences. This Specialization covers all the fundamental techniques in recommender systems, from non-personalized and project-association recommenders through content-based and collaborative filtering techniques, as well as advanced topics like matrix factorization, hybrid machine learning methods for recommender systems, and dimension reduction techniques for the user-product preference space.
This Specialization is designed to serve both the data mining expert who would want to implement techniques like collaborative filtering in their job, as well as the data literate marketing professional, who would want to gain more familiarity with these topics.
The courses offer interactive, spreadsheet-based exercises to master different algorithms, along with an honors track where you can go into greater depth using the LensKit open source toolkit.
By the end of this Specialization, you’ll be able to implement as well as evaluate recommender systems. The Capstone Project brings together the course material with a realistic recommender design and analysis project.
This course, which is designed to serve as the first course in the Recommender Systems specialization, introduces the concept of recommender systems, reviews several examples in detail, and leads you through non-personalized recommendation using summary statistics and product associations, basic stereotype-based or demographic recommendations, and content-based filtering recommendations.
After completing this course, you will be able to compute a variety of recommendations from datasets using basic spreadsheet tools, and if you complete the honors track you will also have programmed these recommendations using the open source LensKit recommender toolkit.
In addition to detailed lectures and interactive exercises, this course features interviews with several leaders in research and practice on advanced topics and current directions in recommender systems.
In this course you will learn how to evaluate recommender systems. You will gain familiarity with several families of metrics, including ones to measure prediction accuracy, rank accuracy, decision-support, and other factors such as diversity, product coverage, and serendipity. You will learn how different metrics relate to different user goals and business goals. You will also learn how to rigorously conduct offline evaluations (i.e., how to prepare and sample data, and how to aggregate results). And you will learn about online (experimental) evaluation. At the completion of this course you will have the tools you need to compare different recommender system alternatives for a wide variety of uses.
In this course, you will learn the fundamental techniques for making personalized recommendations through nearest-neighbor techniques. First you will learn user-user collaborative filtering, an algorithm that identifies other people with similar tastes to a target user and combines their ratings to make recommendations for that user. You will explore and implement variations of the user-user algorithm, and will explore the benefits and drawbacks of the general approach. Then you will learn the widely-practiced item-item collaborative filtering algorithm, which identifies global product associations from user ratings, but uses these product associations to provide personalized recommendations based on a user's own product ratings.
In this course you will learn a variety of matrix factorization and hybrid machine learning techniques for recommender systems. Starting with basic matrix factorization, you will understand both the intuition and the practical details of building recommender systems based on reducing the dimensionality of the user-product preference space. Then you will learn about techniques that combine the strengths of different algorithms into powerful hybrid recommenders.
This capstone project course for the Recommender Systems Specialization brings together everything you've learned about recommender systems algorithms and evaluation into a comprehensive recommender analysis and design project. You will be given a case study to complete where you have to select and justify the design of a recommender system through analysis of recommender goals and algorithm performance.
Learners in the honors track will focus on experimental evaluation of the algorithms against medium sized datasets. The standard track will include a mix of provided results and spreadsheet exploration.
Both groups will produce a capstone report documenting the analysis, the selected solution, and the justification for that solution.