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# Hierarchical Compound Poisson Factorization

*Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 48:1795-1803, 2016.

#### Abstract

Non-negative matrix factorization models based on a hierarchical Gamma-Poisson structure capture user and item behavior effectively in extremely sparse data sets, making them the ideal choice for collaborative filtering applications. Hierarchical Poisson factorization (HPF) in particular has proved successful for scalable recommendation systems with extreme sparsity. HPF, however, suffers from a tight coupling of sparsity model (absence of a rating) and response model (the value of the rating), which limits the expressiveness of the latter. Here, we introduce hierarchical compound Poisson factorization (HCPF) that has the favorable Gamma-Poisson structure and scalability of HPF to high-dimensional extremely sparse matrices. More importantly, HCPF decouples the sparsity model from the response model, allowing us to choose the most suitable distribution for the response. HCPF can capture binary, non-negative discrete, non-negative continuous, and zero-inflated continuous responses. We compare HCPF with HPF on nine discrete and three continuous data sets and conclude that HCPF captures the relationship between sparsity and response better than HPF.