Towards Collaborative Filtering Recommender Systems for Tailored Health Communications

Marlin, Benjamin M., Roy J. Adams, Rajani Sadasivam, and Thomas K. Houston Towards Collaborative Filtering Recommender Systems for Tailored Health Communications. AMIA 2013 Annual Symposium., 2013.


The goal of computer tailored health communications (CTHC) is to promote healthy behaviors by sending messages tailored to individual patients. Current CTHC systems collect baseline patient “profiles” and then use expert-written, rule-based systems to target messages to subsets of patients. Our main interest in this work is the study of collaborative filtering-based CTHC systems that can learn to tailor future message selections to individual patients based explicit feedback about past message selections. This paper reports the results of a study designed to collect explicit feedback (ratings) regarding four aspects of messages from 100 subjects in the smoking cessation support domain. Our results show that most users have positive opinions of most messages and that the ratings for all four aspects of the messages are highly correlated with each other. Finally, we conduct a range of rating prediction experiments comparing several different model variations. Our results show that predicting future ratings based on each user’s past ratings contributes the most to predictive accuracy.

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