Netflix Movie Recommendation System

Machine Learning

Problem Description

Netflix is all about connecting people to the movies they love. To help customers find those movies, they developed world-class movie recommendation system: CinematchSM. Its job is to predict whether someone will enjoy a movie based on how much they liked or disliked other movies. Netflix use those predictions to make personal movie recommendations based on each customer’s unique tastes. And while Cinematch is doing pretty well, it can always be made better.

Now there are a lot of interesting alternative approaches to how Cinematch works that netflix haven’t tried. Some are described in the literature, some aren’t. We’re curious whether any of these can beat Cinematch by making better predictions. Because, frankly, if there is a much better approach it could make a big difference to our customers and our business.


Problem Statement

Netflix provided a lot of anonymous rating data, and a prediction accuracy bar that is 10% better than what Cinematch can do on the same training data set. (Accuracy is a measurement of how closely predicted ratings of movies match subsequent actual ratings.)


  3. Netflix blog: (very nice blog)
  4. surprise library: (we use many models from this library)
  5. surprise library doc: (we use many models from this library)
  6. installing surprise:
  7. Research paper: (most of our work was inspired by this paper)
  8. SVD Decomposition :

Business Objectives


  1. Predict the rating that a user would give to a movie that he ahs not yet rated.
  2. Minimize the difference between predicted and actual rating (RMSE and MAPE)


  1. Some form of interpretability.

Machine Learning Problem

For a given movie and user we need to predict the rating would be given by him/her to the movie. The given problem is a Recommendation problem . It can also seen as a Regression problem

Performance Metric

  1. Mean Absolute Percentage Error:
  2. Root Mean Square Error:
Karthik Bhaskar
Karthik Bhaskar
Machine Learning Researcher | Data Scientist | Software Engineer

Machine Learning Researcher | Software Engineer | Vector Institute | University of Toronto | University Health Network