A Picture-Based Approach to Recommendation Systems

J. Neidhardt, L. Seyfang, R. Schuster, H. Werthner:
"A Picture-Based Approach to Recommendation Systems";
angenommen für Information Technology&Tourism (2014).

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Due to their complexity, tourism products present major challenges to recommendation techniques. Especially the assessment of customer preferences in order to get accurate user profiles is a non-trivial task for several reasons: a) tourism is an"emotional"experience, which is typically hard to capture by using rational terms; b) particularly in early phases of a travel decision process, users are not able to explicitly express their preferences; c) and they are often lacking domain knowledge and thus have difficulties to use the right terminology. In this paper we introduce an alternative, i.e., a picture-based approach, as a new method to implicitly elicit user preferences for tourism products. We develop a model in which a user´s travel profile is composed of seven basic factors. The scores of these factors are determined by asking the user to select a number of pictures that are appealing to him or her. The model as well as its implementation into a recommendation system are described in detail. First evaluations show that interactions with the system are perceived as inspiring and enjoyable.