Hybreed: A Software Framework for Developing Context-Aware Hybrid Recommender Systems

Hussein, T., Linder, T., Gaulke, W., and Ziegler, J. (2012). User modeling and user adapted interaction.

Abstract

This article introduces Hybreed, a software framework for building complex context-aware applications, together with a set of components that are specifically targeted at developing hybrid, context-aware recommender systems. Hybreed is based on a concept for processing context that we call Dynamic Contextualization. The underlying notion of context is very generic, enabling application developers to exploit sensor-based physical factors as well as factors derived from user models or user interaction. This approach is well aligned with context definitions that emphasize the dynamic and activity-oriented nature of context. As an extension of the generic framework, we describe Hybreed RecViews, a set of components facilitating the development of context-aware and hybrid recommender systems. With Hybreed and RecViews, developers can rapidly develop context-aware applications that generate recommendations for both individual users and groups. The framework provides a range of recommendation algorithms and strategies for producing group recommendations as well as templates for combining different methods into hybrid recommenders. Hybreed also provides means for integrating existing user or product data from external sources such as social networks. It combines aspects known from context processing frameworks with features of state-of-the-art recommender system frameworks, aspects that have been addressed only separately in previous research. To our knowledge, Hybreed is the first framework to cover all these aspects in an integrated manner. To evaluate the framework and its conceptual foundation, we verified its capabilities in three different use cases. The evaluation also comprises a comparative assessment of Hybreed’s functional features, a comparison to existing frameworks, and a user study assessing its usability for developers. The results of this study indicate that Hybreed is intuitive to use and extend by developers.

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