Software design, implementation, application, and refinement of a Bayesian approach for the assessment of content and user qualities
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The internet provides unlimited access to vast amounts of information. Technical innovations and internet coverage allow more and more people to supply contents for the web. As a result, there is a great deal of material which is either inaccurate or out-of-date, making it increasingly difficult to find relevant and up-to-date content. In order to solve this problem, recommender systems based on collaborative filtering have been introduced. These systems cluster users based on their past preferences, and suggest relevant contents according to user similarities. Trustbased recommender systems consider the trust level of users in addition to their past preferences, since some users may not be trustworthy in certain categories even though they are trustworthy in others. Content quality levels are important in order to present the most current and relevant contents to users. The study presented here is based on a model which combines the concepts of content quality and user trust. According to this model, the quality level of contents cannot be properly determined without considering the quality levels of evaluators. The model uses a Bayesian approach, which allows the simultaneous co-evaluation of evaluators and contents. The Bayesian approach also allows the calculation of the updated quality values over time. In this thesis, the model is further refined and configurable software is implemented in order to assess the qualities of users and contents on the web. Experiments were performed on a movie data set and the results showed that the Bayesian co-evaluation approach performed more effectively than a classical approach which does not consider user qualities. The approach also succeeded in classifying users according to their expertise level.