Prediction technology by eBay's Hunch company tracks user affinity for web products, services and sites
Hunch, a company acquired by eBay last November, created a patented prediction technology-- also known as a “taste graph” -- that uses signals from around the web to map members with their predicted affinity for products, services, other people, websites or just about anything, and then customizes recommended topics for them. Chris Dixon, Hunch’s founder, is a recognized expert on recommendation technology and is currently working on integrating the technology with eBay. He says, "Many recommendation technologies use what’s called Collaborative Filtering to predict what you might like based on the purchase patterns of other people who looked at, or bought, something that you purchased. Other sites, like Netflix or Pandora, ask you to rate things in a particular vertical segment (movies or music in these cases) and then make predictions based on that. Our approach is broader. Our algorithms look across verticals and also try to get a deep sense of the underlying factors that inform our individual choices."