An easy-to-use library for recommender systems.

recommender recommendation system, factorization, matrix, recommendation, recommender, svd, systems
pip install surprise==0.1


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Surprise is a Python scikit building and analyzing recommender systems.

Surprise was designed with the following purposes in mind:

The name SurPRISE (roughly :) ) stands for Simple Python RecommendatIon System Engine.

Getting started, example

Here is a simple example showing how you can (down)load a dataset, split it for 3-folds cross-validation, and compute the MAE and RMSE of the SVD algorithm.

from surprise import SVD
from surprise import Dataset
from surprise import evaluate, print_perf

# Load the movielens-100k dataset (download it if needed),
# and split it into 3 folds for cross-validation.
data = Dataset.load_builtin('ml-100k')

# We'll use the famous SVD algorithm.
algo = SVD()

# Evaluate performances of our algorithm on the dataset.
perf = evaluate(algo, data, measures=['RMSE', 'MAE'])



Evaluating RMSE, MAE of algorithm SVD.

        Fold 1  Fold 2  Fold 3  Mean
MAE     0.7475  0.7447  0.7425  0.7449
RMSE    0.9461  0.9436  0.9425  0.9441

Surprise can do much more (e.g, GridSearch)! You'll find more usage examples in the documentation .


Here are the average RMSE, MAE and total execution time of various algorithms (with their default parameters) on a 5-folds cross-validation procedure. The datasets are the Movielens 100k and 1M datasets. The folds are the same for all the algorithms (the random seed is set to 0). All experiments are run on a small laptop with Intel Core i3 1.7 GHz, 4Go RAM. The execution time is the real execution time, as returned by the GNU time command.

Movielens 100k RMSE MAE Time (s)
NormalPredictor 1.5228 1.2242 4
BaselineOnly .9445 .7488 5
KNNBasic .9789 .7732 27
KNNWithMeans .9514 .7500 30
KNNBaseline .9306 .7334 44
SVD .9396 .7412 46
SVD++ .9200 .7253 31min
NMF .9634 .7572 55
Slope One .9454 .7430 25
Co clustering .9678 .7579 15
Movielens 1M RMSE MAE Time (min)
NormalPredictor 1.5037 1.2051 < 1
BaselineOnly .9086 .7194 < 1
KNNBasic .9207 .7250 22
KNNWithMeans .9292 .7386 22
KNNBaseline .8949 .7063 44
SVD .8936 .7057 7
NMF .9155 .7232 9
Slope One .9065 .7144 8
Co clustering .9155 .7174 2

Installation / Usage

The easiest way is to use pip (you'll need numpy):

$ pip install numpy
$ pip install scikit-surprise

Or you can clone the repo and build the source (you'll need Cython and numpy):

$ git clone
$ python install


This project is licensed under the BSD 3-Clause license, so it can be used for pretty much everything, including commercial applications. Please let us know how Surprise is useful to you!


Contributing, feedback, contact

Any kind of feedback/criticism would be greatly appreciated (software design, documentation, improvement ideas, spelling mistakes, etc...).

If you'd like to see some features or algorithms implemented in Surprise, please let us know! Some of the current ideas are:

  • Bayesian PMF
  • RBM for CF

Please feel free to contribute (see guidelines) and send pull requests!

To contact us, send us a tweet or mail us at contact at nicolas-hug dot com. For any bug or issue, please use the GitHub project page.