A picture-based approach to recommender systems

J. Neidhardt, L. Seyfang, R. Schuster, H. Werthner:
"A picture-based approach to recommender systems";
Information Technology&Tourism,15(2015), 1; S. 49 - 69.

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Abstract:


Due to their complexity, tourism products present major challenges to recommender 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 userĀ“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 recommender system are described in detail. First evaluations show thatinteractions with the system are perceived as inspiring and enjoyable.