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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24832

Title: Learning Distributed Representations for Statistical Language Modelling and Collaborative Filtering
Authors: Mnih, Andriy
Advisor: Hinton, Geoffrey
Department: Computer Science
Keywords: statistical language modelling
collaborative filtering
neural networks
distributed representations
machine learning
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2010
Abstract: With the increasing availability of large datasets machine learning techniques are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to expert-designed approaches to solving complex problems in domains where data is abundant. In this thesis we introduce several models for large sparse discrete datasets. Our approach, which is based on probabilistic models that use distributed representations to alleviate the effects of data sparsity, is applied to statistical language modelling and collaborative filtering. We introduce three probabilistic language models that represent words using learned real-valued vectors. Two of the models are based on the Restricted Boltzmann Machine (RBM) architecture while the third one is a simple deterministic model. We show that the deterministic model outperforms the widely used n-gram models and learns sensible word representations. To reduce the time complexity of training and making predictions with the deterministic model, we introduce a hierarchical version of the model, that can be exponentially faster. The speedup is achieved by structuring the vocabulary as a tree over words and taking advantage of this structure. We propose a simple feature-based algorithm for automatic construction of trees over words from data and show that the resulting models can outperform non-hierarchical neural models as well as the best n-gram models. We then turn our attention to collaborative filtering and show how RBM models can be used to model the distribution of sparse high-dimensional user rating vectors efficiently, presenting inference and learning algorithms that scale linearly in the number of observed ratings. We also introduce the Probabilistic Matrix Factorization model which is based on the probabilistic formulation of the low-rank matrix approximation problem for partially observed matrices. The two models are then extended to allow conditioning on the identities of the rated items whether or not the actual rating values are known. Our results on the Netflix Prize dataset show that both RBM and PMF models outperform online SVD models.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24832
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Computer Science - Doctoral theses

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