Collaborative Filtering with Python

Collaborative FIltering

To start, I have to say that it is really heartwarming to get feedback from readers, so thank you for engagement. This post is a response to a request made collaborative filtering with R.

The approach used in the post required the use of loops on several occassions.
Loops in R are infamous for being slow. In fact, it is probably best to avoid them all together.
One way to avoid loops in R, is not to use R (mind: #blow). We can use Python, that is flexible and performs better for this particular scenario than R.
For the record, I am still learning Python. This is the first script I write in Python.

Refresher: The Last.FM dataset

The data set contains information about users, gender, age, and which artists they have listened to on Last.FM.
In our case we only use Germany’s data and transform the data into a frequency matrix.

We will use this to complete 2 types of collaborative filtering:

  • Item Based: which takes similarities between items’ consumption histories
  • User Based: that considers similarities between user consumption histories and item similarities

We begin by downloading our dataset:

Fire up your terminal and launch your favourite IDE. I use IPython and Notepad++.

Lets load the libraries we will use for this exercise (pandas and scipy)

# --- Import Libraries --- #
import pandas as pd
from scipy.spatial.distance import cosine

We then want to read our data file.

# --- Read Data --- #
data = pd.read_csv('data.csv')

If you want to check out the data set you can do so using data.head():

 
data.head(6).ix[:,2:8]
 
   abba  ac/dc  adam green  aerosmith  afi  air
0     0      0           0          0    0    0
1     0      0           1          0    0    0
2     0      0           0          0    0    0
3     0      0           0          0    0    0
4     0      0           0          0    0    0
5     0      0           0          0    0    0

Item Based Collaborative Filtering

Reminder: In item based collaborative filtering we do not care about the user column.
So we drop the user column (don’t worry, we’ll get them back later)

# --- Start Item Based Recommendations --- #
# Drop any column named "user"
data_germany = data.drop('user', 1)

Before we calculate our similarities we need a place to store them. We create a variable called data_ibs which is a Pandas Data Frame (… think of this as an excel table … but it’s vegan with super powers …)

# Create a placeholder dataframe listing item vs. item
data_ibs = pd.DataFrame(index=data_germany.columns,columns=data_germany.columns)

Now we can start to look at filling in similarities. We will use Cosin Similarities.
We needed to create a function in R to achieve this the way we wanted to. In Python, the Scipy library has a function that allows us to do this without customization.
In essense the cosine similarity takes the sum product of the first and second column, then dives that by the product of the square root of the sum of squares of each column.

This is a fancy way of saying “loop through each column, and apply a function to it and the next column”.

# Lets fill in those empty spaces with cosine similarities
# Loop through the columns
for i in range(0,len(data_ibs.columns)) :
    # Loop through the columns for each column
    for j in range(0,len(data_ibs.columns)) :
      # Fill in placeholder with cosine similarities
      data_ibs.ix[i,j] = 1-cosine(data_germany.ix[:,i],data_germany.ix[:,j])

With our similarity matrix filled out we can look for each items “neighbour” by looping through ‘data_ibs’, sorting each column in descending order, and grabbing the name of each of the top 10 songs.

# Create a placeholder items for closes neighbours to an item
data_neighbours = pd.DataFrame(index=data_ibs.columns,columns=range(1,11))
 
# Loop through our similarity dataframe and fill in neighbouring item names
for i in range(0,len(data_ibs.columns)):
    data_neighbours.ix[i,:10] = data_ibs.ix[0:,i].order(ascending=False)[:10].index
 
# --- End Item Based Recommendations --- #

Done!

data_neighbours.head(6).ix[:6,2:4]
 
                                      2                3              4
a perfect circle                   tool            dredg       deftones
abba                            madonna  robbie williams  elvis presley
ac/dc             red hot chili peppers        metallica    iron maiden
adam green               the libertines      the strokes   babyshambles
aerosmith                            u2     led zeppelin      metallica
afi                funeral for a friend     rise against   fall out boy

User Based collaborative Filtering

The process for creating a User Based recommendation system is as follows:

  • Have an Item Based similarity matrix at your disposal (we do…wohoo!)
  • Check which items the user has consumed
  • For each item the user has consumed, get the top X neighbours
  • Get the consumption record of the user for each neighbour.
  • Calculate a similarity score using some formula
  • Recommend the items with the highest score

Lets begin.

We first need a formula. We use the sum of the product 2 vectors (lists, if you will) containing purchase history and item similarity figures. We then divide that figure by the sum of the similarities in the respective vector.
The function looks like this:

# --- Start User Based Recommendations --- #
 
# Helper function to get similarity scores
def getScore(history, similarities):
   return sum(history*similarities)/sum(similarities)

The rest is a matter of applying this function to the data frames in the right way.
We start by creating a variable to hold our similarity data.
This is basically the same as our original data but with nothing filled in except the headers.

# Create a place holder matrix for similarities, and fill in the user name column
data_sims = pd.DataFrame(index=data.index,columns=data.columns)
data_sims.ix[:,:1] = data.ix[:,:1]

We now loop through the rows and columns filling in empty spaces with similarity scores.

Note that we score items that the user has already consumed as 0, because there is no point recommending it again.

#Loop through all rows, skip the user column, and fill with similarity scores
for i in range(0,len(data_sims.index)):
    for j in range(1,len(data_sims.columns)):
        user = data_sims.index[i]
        product = data_sims.columns[j]
 
        if data.ix[i][j] == 1:
            data_sims.ix[i][j] = 0
        else:
            product_top_names = data_neighbours.ix[product][1:10]
            product_top_sims = data_ibs.ix[product].order(ascending=False)[1:10]
            user_purchases = data_germany.ix[user,product_top_names]
 
            data_sims.ix[i][j] = getScore(user_purchases,product_top_sims)

We can now produc a matrix of User Based recommendations as follows:

# Get the top songs
data_recommend = pd.DataFrame(index=data_sims.index, columns=['user','1','2','3','4','5','6'])
data_recommend.ix[0:,0] = data_sims.ix[:,0]

Instead of having the matrix filled with similarity scores, however, it would be nice to see the song names.
This can be done with the following loop:

# Instead of top song scores, we want to see names
for i in range(0,len(data_sims.index)):
    data_recommend.ix[i,1:] = data_sims.ix[i,:].order(ascending=False).ix[1:7,].index.transpose()
# Print a sample
print data_recommend.ix[:10,:4]

Done! Happy recommending ;]

   user                      1                      2                3
0     1         flogging molly               coldplay        aerosmith
1    33  red hot chili peppers          kings of leon        peter fox
2    42                 oomph!            lacuna coil        rammstein
3    51            the subways              the kooks  franz ferdinand
4    62           jack johnson                incubus       mando diao
5    75             hoobastank             papa roach           sum 41
6   130      alanis morissette  the smashing pumpkins        pearl jam
7   141           machine head        sonic syndicate          caliban
8   144                editors              nada surf      the strokes
9   150                placebo            the subways     eric clapton
10  205             in extremo          nelly furtado        finntroll

Entire Code

 
# --- Import Libraries --- #
 
import pandas as pd
from scipy.spatial.distance import cosine
 
# --- Read Data --- #
data = pd.read_csv('data.csv')
 
# --- Start Item Based Recommendations --- #
# Drop any column named "user"
data_germany = data.drop('user', 1)
 
# Create a placeholder dataframe listing item vs. item
data_ibs = pd.DataFrame(index=data_germany.columns,columns=data_germany.columns)
 
# Lets fill in those empty spaces with cosine similarities
# Loop through the columns
for i in range(0,len(data_ibs.columns)) :
    # Loop through the columns for each column
    for j in range(0,len(data_ibs.columns)) :
      # Fill in placeholder with cosine similarities
      data_ibs.ix[i,j] = 1-cosine(data_germany.ix[:,i],data_germany.ix[:,j])
 
# Create a placeholder items for closes neighbours to an item
data_neighbours = pd.DataFrame(index=data_ibs.columns,columns=[range(1,11)])
 
# Loop through our similarity dataframe and fill in neighbouring item names
for i in range(0,len(data_ibs.columns)):
    data_neighbours.ix[i,:10] = data_ibs.ix[0:,i].order(ascending=False)[:10].index
 
# --- End Item Based Recommendations --- #
 
# --- Start User Based Recommendations --- #
 
# Helper function to get similarity scores
def getScore(history, similarities):
   return sum(history*similarities)/sum(similarities)
 
# Create a place holder matrix for similarities, and fill in the user name column
data_sims = pd.DataFrame(index=data.index,columns=data.columns)
data_sims.ix[:,:1] = data.ix[:,:1]
 
#Loop through all rows, skip the user column, and fill with similarity scores
for i in range(0,len(data_sims.index)):
    for j in range(1,len(data_sims.columns)):
        user = data_sims.index[i]
        product = data_sims.columns[j]
 
        if data.ix[i][j] == 1:
            data_sims.ix[i][j] = 0
        else:
            product_top_names = data_neighbours.ix[product][1:10]
            product_top_sims = data_ibs.ix[product].order(ascending=False)[1:10]
            user_purchases = data_germany.ix[user,product_top_names]
 
            data_sims.ix[i][j] = getScore(user_purchases,product_top_sims)
 
# Get the top songs
data_recommend = pd.DataFrame(index=data_sims.index, columns=['user','1','2','3','4','5','6'])
data_recommend.ix[0:,0] = data_sims.ix[:,0]
 
# Instead of top song scores, we want to see names
for i in range(0,len(data_sims.index)):
    data_recommend.ix[i,1:] = data_sims.ix[i,:].order(ascending=False).ix[1:7,].index.transpose()
 
# Print a sample
print data_recommend.ix[:10,:4]

Referenence

15 Comments on “Collaborative Filtering with Python

  1.  by  David Taylor

    Great tutorial! I did find a line that throws an error:

    data_neighbours = pd.DataFrame(index=data_ibs.columns,columns=[range(1,11)])

    should be

    data_neighbours = pd.DataFrame(index=data_ibs.columns,columns=range(1,11))

  2.  by  Claudia

    First of all, thank you for your excellent posts.

    Secondly, i’m trying to do CF with a big data set (over 5k product ids, hundred thousand users), have you tried SVD in python? Will it help to do it faster?

    Any advice?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  3.  by  miku

    Hi Salem,
    it seems what you are actually doing is for every user (say user-1) you see what items he/she has not listened to (those with 0) and then to decide whether or not to recommend (let’s say song2 to recommend or not?) it you create a weighted score by first going to the top neighbors of song2 and get their similarities with song2. Next those songs in these top neighbors which user-1 has already listened to are considered (in form of purchase history being 1 rest 0) to be multiplied with similarities and by dividing with sum of all the similarities of top neighbors to come up with a score for song2.
    This way you will get scores for all the items which user-1 has not seen based on what he has already seen. I am just trying to point out is the psudo code or flow which you wrote after user based collaborative filtering is slightly misleading as the step 3 (“For each item the user has consumed, get the top X neighbours”) comes later in the calculation in the form of for every potential recommendation you first get the score based on what user has already listened to.

    I really liked you post. :)
    Regards,
    M

  4.  by  Anita

    am new in python…plz tell me how to import pandas ? thnk u

    •  by  Faiz

      import pandas as pd

      if pandas not installed use pip to install it first

  5.  by  Ash

    Hey!

    is there a way to validate the model? I read somewhere “recall” and precision are two parameters to evaluate the performance.

    How do we implement this in the above given example?

    Or is there a way to calculate RMSE for this model?

  6.  by  Julia

    Hi, how come you used 1-cosine similarity to calculate your similarity matrix for the Item Based Collaborative Filtering example?

  7. Pingback: Recommender for Slack with Pandas & Flask – Liip AG Liip

  8.  by  Yully

    Hello

    i got this problem <> and nothing shows up. Then I change order by sort_values but still with the same, nothing shows up.

    Thank at lot, i like so much the post

  9.  by  Yully

    This is the warning: FutureWarning: order is deprecated, use sort_values(…)

  10.  by  segovia

    Thanks for this great tutorial. All codes worked fine and they are easy to follow. However, my question is: is this really the collaborative filtering algorithm? I watched Andrew Ng’s videos on collaborative filtering and it involves the minimization of a cost function which contains both the features and the parameters. I don’t see this minimization step in this tutorial at all. Please kindly clarify my confusion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saXRzxgFN0o

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6u5ykEHSP8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkMAgWlYCAQ

  11.  by  Ronnie

    Hi Salem!
    Great Article. Thank you. Have you considered using GraphLab?

  12.  by  Ronnie

    Hi Salem!
    I tried to replicate your code on a different data set that is of the type user vs product buy-nobuy matrix. rows are users and columns are a long list of products and then cell values are 1 – for buy and 0 – for no buy. I’m getting the following error:

    C:\Users\abc\AppData\Local\Continuum\Anaconda3\python.exe “C:/Users/abc/Documents/CF/Collaborative Filtering In Python/src/CollaborativeFiltering.py”
    C:/Users/abc/Documents/CF/Collaborative Filtering In Python/src/CollaborativeFiltering.py:32: FutureWarning: order is deprecated, use sort_values(…)
    trainingSet_neighbours.ix[i,:10] = trainingSet_ibs.ix[0:,i].order(ascending=False)[:10].index
    C:/Users/abc/Documents/CF/Collaborative Filtering In Python/src/CollaborativeFiltering.py:56: FutureWarning: order is deprecated, use sort_values(…)
    product_top_sims = trainingSet_ibs.ix[product].order(ascending=False)[1:10]
    C:/Users/abc/Documents/CF/Collaborative Filtering In Python/src/CollaborativeFiltering.py:67: FutureWarning: order is deprecated, use sort_values(…)
    trainingSet_recommend.ix[i,1:] = trainingSet_sims.ix[i,:].order(ascending=False).ix[1:7,].index.transpose()
    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File “C:\Users\abc\AppData\Local\Continuum\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\pandas\core\series.py”, line 1628, in _try_kind_sort
    return arr.argsort(kind=kind)
    TypeError: unorderable types: numpy.ndarray() < str()

    During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "C:/Users/abc/Documents/CF/Collaborative Filtering In Python/src/CollaborativeFiltering.py", line 67, in
    trainingSet_recommend.ix[i,1:] = trainingSet_sims.ix[i,:].order(ascending=False).ix[1:7,].index.transpose()
    File “C:\Users\abc\AppData\Local\Continuum\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\pandas\core\series.py”, line 1760, in order
    inplace=inplace)
    File “C:\Users\abc\AppData\Local\Continuum\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\pandas\core\series.py”, line 1642, in sort_values
    argsorted = _try_kind_sort(arr[good])
    File “C:\Users\abc\AppData\Local\Continuum\Anaconda3\lib\site-packages\pandas\core\series.py”, line 1632, in _try_kind_sort
    return arr.argsort(kind=’quicksort’)
    TypeError: unorderable types: numpy.ndarray() < str()

    Process finished with exit code 1

    Could you please provide some insights?

  13.  by  Mohammad

    # Create a placeholder items for closes neighbours to an item
    closes neighbours , i want to also get the value of each neighbours
    How i resolved this??
    data_neighbours.ix[i,:10] = data_ibs.ix[0:,i].order(ascending=False)[:10].index
    when i used below code then its give all nan value
    data_neighbours.ix[i,:10] = data_ibs.ix[0:,i].order(ascending=False)[:10]

    # — End Item Based Recommendations — #

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