LIFESTYLE FINDER: Intelligent User Profiling Using Large-Scale Demographic Data

Bruce Krulwich


A number of approaches have been advanced for taking data about a user's likes and dislikes and generating a general profile of the user. These profiles can be used to retrieve documents matching user interests; recommend music, movies, or other similar products; or carry out other tasks in a specialized fashion. This article presents a fundamentally new method for generating user profiles that takes advantage of a large-scale database of demographic data. These data are used to generalize user-specified data along the patterns common across the population, including areas not represented in the user's original data. I describe the method in detail and present its implementation in the LIFESTYLE FINDER agent, an internet-based experiment testing our approach on more than 20,006 users worldwide.

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