Interesting papers at KDD

I attended KDD this year. The conference has always had a strong grounding in what works based on the KDDcup, but it has developed a halo of workshops on various subjects. It seems that KDD has become a place where the economy meets machine learning in a stronger sense than many other conferences.

There were several papers that other people might like to take a look at.

  1. Yehuda Koren Collaborative Filtering with Temporal Dynamics. This paper describes how to incorporate temporal dynamics into a couple of collaborative filtering approaches. This was also a best paper award.
  2. D. Sculley, Robert Malkin, Sugato Basu, Roberto J. Bayardo, Predicting Bounce Rates in Sponsored Search Advertisements. The basic claim of this paper is that the probability people immediately leave (“bounce”) after clicking on an advertisement is predictable.
  3. Frank McSherry and Ilya Mironov Differentially Private Recommender Systems: Building Privacy into the Netflix Prize Contenders. The basic claim here is that it is possible to beat the baseline system in Netflix and preserve a nontrivial amount of user privacy. It’s the first demonstration I’ve seen of this sort, and it’s particularly impressive they used a strong algorithm-independent definition of privacy which Cynthia Dwork first stated.

KDD also experimented this year with crowdvine which was interesting. Compared to Mark Reid‘s efforts with ICML, they managed to get substantially more participation. There seemed to be two reasons: the conference organizers more deeply integrated and encouraged the use of crowdvine, and crowdvine has certain handy additional uses—you can create your own personal schedule for instance, which incidentally provides some vague global notion of the popularity of various papers. The biggest drawback I found was that the papers themselves were not integrated into the website.