[nycphp-talk] Personalization, Ratings, Suggestions

Andrew Yochum andrew at
Thu Aug 7 09:42:12 EDT 2003

On Wed, Aug 06, 2003 at 10:18:17AM -0700, jim.bishop wrote:
> I'm building a system that takes user purchases and turns that information
> into a suggested purchases list for other users.  I know Amazon, B&N,
> everyone and their dog does it.
> Does anyone know of open source packages, online documentation, or howtos
> that might help point me in the right direction?  I see several for
> purchase products, but I am more interested in doing it myself for the
> experience.

There was an article in Dr. Dobbs journal sometime in the Fall on
personalization that you might check out.  I believe it was called "Adaptive
Resonance Theory"... a fancy name for just what you want to do.

> Starting from scratch, I figure I'm going to need a database that tracks
> user purchases and then software to "score" those purchases for other
> users.  It's the scoring portion that I'm finding a little daunting.

I've had good success with doing all of the computation in the database,
leaving nothing for PHP to do but display the results.  I use a combination of
aggregate (SUM & COUNT) functions with a CASE statement for the weighting to
give me a scoring and then order the result by that.

> Anyone?  Anyone?
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at

Andrew Yochum
Digital Pulp, Inc.
andrew at

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