Welcome back to the Graph-Powered Machine Learning book club. Now we are in the section of the book that focuses on recommendations. In the last blog, I summed up how content-based recommendations work. In the fifth chapter, the author Alessandro Negro introduces us to collaborative filtering.
So far, the Graph-Powered Machine Learning book has introduced us to graphs and machine learning. The second part of the book talks about recommendations. Recommender systems (RS) gather information about users and items and provide item suggestions, bringing great value to online stores - clothing stores, bookstores, you name it. Companies like Netflix base their entire businesses on high performing recommender systems.
Not so long ago, our very own Luanne gave an amazing talk titled Maltaware: Discovering what to drink with Neo4j on Nodes2020. Luanne demonstrated the value of graphs, and why they are the perfect fit for recommendation engines with an example of a whisky recommendation engine. Let me quickly walk you through a summary of why graphs and recommendation engines go together so well.
“Relevance is the practice of improving search results for users by satisfying their information needs in the context of a particular user experience, while balancing how ranking impacts business’s needs.” 
Recommendation engines are a crucial element in the global trend towards a push-based web experience and away from a pull-based one. They provide the ability to personalize content offered to each user by predicting the interest the user will have in the recommended items. This is not only a powerful business tool for content providers, but also a vital improvement to the user experience. In today’s world where the volume, interdependence, variety and speed of information is overwhelming, recommendation engines can significantly reduce the gap between us and what we search for. Indeed, these engines are used even to enhance...
In our previous blog postwe introduced the concept of Graph Aided Search. It refers to a personalised user experience during search where theresults are customised for each user based on information gathered about them (likes, friends, clicks, buying history, etc.).This information is stored in a graph database and processed using machine learning and/or graph analysis algorithms.
Recently, Neo Technology announced the 2.3.0-RC1 release of their Neo4j graph database. One of the key new features is TriadicSelection built into Cypher’s Cost Based Planner. In this blog post, we will explore the Triadic Selection in detailand demonstrate how significantly it can speed up recommendations computed in Neo4j.
For the last couple of years, Neo4j has been increasingly popular as the technology of choice for people building real-time recommendation engines. Having been at the forefront of the graph movement through clientengagements and open-source software development, we have identified the next step in the natural evolution of graph-based recommendationengines. We call it Graph-Aided Search.