The Science and Magic of User and Expert Feedback for Improving Recommendations by Dr. Xavier Amatriain (Telefonica).
Recommender systems are playing a key role in the next web revolution as a practical alternative to traditional search for information access and filtering. Most of these systems use Collaborative Filtering techniques in which predictions are solely based on the feedback of the user and similar peers. Although this approach is considered relatively effective, it has reached some practical limitations such as the so-called Magic Barrier. Many of these limitations strive from the fact that explicit user feedback in the form of ratings is considered the ground truth. However, this feedback has a non-negligible amount of noise and inconsistencies. Furthermore, in most practical applications, we lack enough explicit feedback and would be better off using implicit feedback or usage data.
In the first part of my talk, I will present our studies in analyzing natural noise in explicit feedback and finding ways to overcome it to improve recommendation accuracy. I will also present our study of user implicit feedback and an approach to relate both kinds of information. In the second part, I will introduce a radically different approach to recommendation that is based on the use of the opinions of experts instead of regular peers. I will show how this approach addresses many of the shortcomings of traditional Collaborative Filtering, generates recommendations that are better perceived by the users, and allows for new applications such as fully-privacy preserving recommendations.
Chris Anderson: “We are leaving the age of information and entering the age of recommendation.”
I suspect Chris Anderson must not be an active library user. Long before recommender systems, librarians have been making recommendations to researchers, patrons and children doing homework. I would say we are returning to the age of librarians, assisted by recommender systems.
Librarians use the reference interview so that based on feedback from patrons they can make the appropriate recommendations.
If you substitute librarian for “expert” in this presentation, it becomes apparent the world of information is coming back around to libraries and librarians.
Librarians should be making the case, both in the literature but to researchers like Dr. Amatriain, that librarians can play a vital role in recommender systems.
This is a very enjoyable as well as useful presentation.
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