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From José Moreira <>
Subject [mahout-user] Recommendation engine to support a LAMP application
Date Tue, 07 Dec 2010 19:41:11 GMT

i was asked by a friendly company to improve their current product
recommendation system which is currently a couple of complex SQL queries
using fulltext search that match similar products based on title,
description and tags (a single comma separated field) and i don't have
experience with recommendation engines.

The new system must also take into account the click rate of a product
(in regard of similar ones) when it's being recommended, meaning that
when products B and C are presented as similar products of A and the
user (a web visitor, the application has no user accounts) clicks on B,
it's click rate in regard of A is increased and may influence the next
recommendation of similar products of A which orders the result by
similarity and click rate in relation to the displayed product, which i
think is called item-to-item recommendation.

Eventually, similar personal "tastes" will also need to be implemented.

As a note, my customer is also interested in obtaining for example 8
products from this set plus 2 more with a low click rate to give them a
chance of obtaining a higher click rate.

It's also required to be able to configure the weights of the
"variables", for example, 0.5clickRate+0.3description and so on.

Instead of starting to hack a custom solution i've been looking for
recommendation engines in PHP (the database is mysql) but haven't found

I'm also aware of Apache Mahout, i could suggest the use of Mahout or a
similar java engine as a "web service" on a separate server, although i
know the customer is very much prone to a "pure" PHP solution, as their
applications are very basic stack-wise. The end solution will possibly
be implemented on other similar projects, so perhaps the standalone
server would be running multiple instances.

Additionally i don't have experience with Mahout or recommendation
engines in general, so i'm currently not aware how they manage the
"related click rate" feature. My questions are:

Any suggestions on implementing these features as a stand-alone server
or otherwise? I apologize if i haven't described the situation using
more direct technical terms.

Thank you


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