Social annotation systems allow users to annotate resources with personalized tags and to navigate large and complex information spaces without the need to rely on predefined hierarchies. These systems help users organize and share their own resources, as well as discover new ones annotated by other users. Tag recommenders in such systems assist users in finding appropriate tags for resources and help consolidate annotations across all users and resources. But the size and complexity of the data, as well as the inherent noise and inconsistencies in the underlying tag vocabularies, have made the design of effective tag recommenders a challenge. Recent efforts have demonstrated the advantages of integrative models that leverage all three dimensions of a social annotation system: users, resources and tags. Among these approaches are recommendation models based on matrix factorization. But, these models tend to lack scalability and often hide the underlying characteristics, or "information channels" of the data that affect recommendation effectiveness. In this paper we propose a weighted hybrid tag recommender that blends multiple recommendation components drawing separately on complementary dimensions, and evaluate it on six large real-world datasets. In addition, we attempt to quantify the strength of the information channels in these datasets and use these results to explain the performance of the hybrid. We find our approach is not only competitive with the state-of-the-art techniques in terms of accuracy, but also has the added benefits of being scalable to large real world applications, extensible to incorporate a wide range of recommendation techniques, easily updateable, and more scrutable than other leading methods.
Hybrid tag recommendation for social annotation systems