An Estimation and Analysis Framework for the Rasch Model
Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 80:2883-2891, 2018.
The Rasch model is widely used for item response analysis in applications ranging from recommender systems to psychology, education, and finance. While a number of estimators have been proposed for the Rasch model over the last decades, the associated analytical performance guarantees are mostly asymptotic. This paper provides a framework that relies on a novel linear minimum mean-squared error (L-MMSE) estimator which enables an exact, nonasymptotic, and closed-form analysis of the parameter estimation error under the Rasch model. The proposed framework provides guidelines on the number of items and responses required to attain low estimation errors in tests or surveys. We furthermore demonstrate its efficacy on a number of real-world collaborative filtering datasets, which reveals that the proposed L-MMSE estimator performs on par with state-of-the-art nonlinear estimators in terms of predictive performance.