ASIST AM 03 2003 START ConferenceManager    

Three Social Distance Measures for Film Rankings

Gregory H. Leazer, Jonathan Furner and Rachel Napper

Presented at ASIST 2003 Annual Meeting -- Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back (ASIST AM 03 2003), Westin Long Beach, Long Beach, California, October 20 - 23, 2003


We describe the use of two alternative methods for ranking films for information retrieval (IR). A large film-person incidence matrix is generated using the principle cast, directors, producers and screenwriters for each film. These attributes are used to measure film-film distances by creating a distance matrix: two films are considered to be adjacent if there is any overlap in the people associated with each film. The distance between any two films is measured by the shortest path used to connect them through their adjacent members. The second method is more novel and involves the creation of a similarity matrix that expresses the amount of overlap in the people associated with any two films using Dice's coefficient. A second, more innovative ``product distance" matrix is then derived that expresses the distances between any two films based on the product of the similarity weights on a path that connects those films. The highest value is chosen when alternate paths connect the two films. The distance and product distance matrices are used to generate rankings for a random sample of films, and the resulting lists will be compared using the kappa measure of inter-rater agreement.

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