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Computación y Sistemas

versión On-line ISSN 2007-9737versión impresa ISSN 1405-5546

Comp. y Sist. vol.18 no.3 Ciudad de México jul./sep. 2014 

Artículos regulares


Spotting Fake Reviews using Positive-Unlabeled Learning


Huayi Li1, Bing Liu1, Arjun Mukherjee2, and Jidong Shao3


1 Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.,

2 Department of Computer Science, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

3 Dianping Inc., Shanghai, China.,


Article received on 22/08/2014.
Accepted on 18/09/2014.



Fake review detection has been studied by researchers for several years. However, so far all reported studies are based on English reviews. This paper reports a study of detecting fake reviews in Chinese. Our review dataset is from the Chinese review hosting site Dianping, which has built a fake review detection system. They are confident that their algorithm has a very high precision, but they don't know the recall. This means that all fake reviews detected by the system are almost certainly fake but the remaining reviews may not be all genuine. This paper first reports a supervised learning study of two classes, fake and unknown. However, since the unknown set may contain many fake reviews, it is more appropriate to treat it as an unlabeled set. This calls for the model of learning from positive and unlabeled examples (or PU-learning). Experimental results show that PU learning not only outperforms supervised learning significantly, but also detects a large number of potentially fake reviews hidden in the unlabeled set that Dianping fails to detect.

Keywords: Fake reviews, Positive-Unlabeled learning, PU-learning.





The authors would like to thank the spam detection team in Dianping for sharing the Chinese review dataset. This research paper is made possible through the help and support from engineers and scientists in Dianping who provided valuable suggestions and indispensable efforts in evaluation.



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