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Eric bieschke slides

  1. 1. MLconf November 2013 Proprietary & Confidential Proprietary & Confidential
  2. 2. The Data “The files are in the computer.” – Derek Zoolander Proprietary & Confidential Proprietary & Confidential
  3. 3. Pandora 200+ million registered users 70+ million active monthly users Average Pandora listener listens for 17 hours a month More than 80% of listening occurs on mobile and other connected devices 8.06% of total US radio listening hours Proprietary & Confidential
  4. 4. Pandora 1.47+ billion listening hours in October 30+ billion thumbs 5+ billion stations Approximately one out of every two US smartphone users has listened to Pandora in the past month Proprietary & Confidential
  5. 5. Experimentation & Metrics “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.” – Richard Feynman Proprietary & Confidential Proprietary & Confidential
  6. 6. A/B Testing All improvements begin as a hypothesis. Hypotheses beget experiments. Experiments are tried against real Pandora listeners. When an experiment beats the current algorithm, ship it! Rinse, wash, repeat. A/B testing is how you leverage scale. More data lets you build stronger models and try fancy data intensive algorithms, but the big win comes from unlocking A/B testing. Online evaluation > Offline evaluation. Proprietary & Confidential
  7. 7. Metrics How you judge experiments shapes where you are headed. Choose the wrong measuring stick and you wind up in the wrong place. Choose the right measuring stick and progress is inevitable. Improvements come both from better hypotheses to run experiments but also from better measuring sticks. Incremental improvements tend to come from hypotheses. Leapfrog improvements tend to come from better measuring sticks. Proprietary & Confidential
  8. 8. Evolution of Big Picture Metrics Thumb up percentage Total listening hours Listener return rate Machine learning doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Make sure you’re optimizing the right thing. Approach problems by first deciding what you’re trying to achieve, then think technology. If ML isn’t the right tool for the job, don’t use it. 8 Proprietary & Confidential
  9. 9. Deeper Metrics Relevance Prediction accuracy Musical diversity Novelty / Surprisal Awesomeness These metrics all support our big picture goal at Pandora: Connecting people with music they love. 9 Proprietary & Confidential
  10. 10. How It Works “Truth is what works.” – William James Proprietary & Confidential Proprietary & Confidential
  11. 11. “ “ There is no silver bullet. Proprietary & Confidential
  12. 12. Ensemble Recommendations The Music Genome Project People are truly unique No single approach to music recommendations works for everybody Using a variety of recommendation techniques and combining them intelligently works – Pandora uses 50+ algorithms The more varied the individual techniques the stronger the ensemble – seek orthogonality Proprietary & Confidential
  13. 13. Content-Based Recommendations The Music Genome Project 25 music analysts 13 years in development Up to 450 attributes identified per track – everything from the melody, harmony, and instrumentation to rhythm, vocals, and lyrics As of yet the human ear still understands music better than machines Proprietary & Confidential
  14. 14. Collaborative Filtering The Music Genome Project At small scale matrix factorization techniques work wonders At Pandora scale MF techniques make less sense for many problems Don’t waste cycles doing something fancy when scale allows you to simply measure Simple item-item recommenders win at scale Proprietary & Confidential
  15. 15. Collective Intelligence – reinforcement learning The Music Genome Project Our listeners know what they want (most of the time) Pandora is a platform for listeners to cooperate in making the music better for themselves We build, grow, measure, and enhance this ecosystem – but mostly we stay out of the way Pandora is awesome because our listeners are awesome Proprietary & Confidential
  16. 16. Eric Bieschke @ericbke http://pandora.com/careers/ Proprietary & Confidential Proprietary & Confidential

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