Viet Ha-Thuc, Ganesh Venkataraman, Mario Rodriguez, Shakti Sinha, Senthil Sundaram, and Lin Guo

IEEE Big Data Conference 2015 (Best Paper Award)


LinkedIn is the largest professional network with more than 350 million members. As the member base increases, searching for experts becomes more and more challenging. In this paper, we propose an approach to address the problem of personalized expertise search on LinkedIn, particularly for exploratory search queries containing skills. In the offline phase, we introduce a collaborative filtering approach based on matrix factorization. Our approach estimates expertise scores for both the skills that members list on their profiles as well as the skills they are likely to have but do not explicitly list. In the online phase (at query time) we use expertise scores on these skills as a feature in combination with other features to rank the results. To learn the personalized ranking function, we propose a heuristic to extract training data from search logs while handling position and sample selection biases. We tested our models on two products - LinkedIn homepage and LinkedIn recruiter. A/B tests showed significant improvements in click through rates - 31% for CTR@1 for recruiter (18% for homepage) as well as downstream messages sent from search - 37% for recruiter (20% for homepage). As of writing this paper, these models serve nearly all live traffic for skills search on LinkedIn homepage as well as LinkedIn recruiter.