Choice-based Preference Elicitation for Collaborative Filtering Recommender Systems

Loepp, B., Hussein, T., & Ziegler, J. (2014). Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’14), 3085–3094.

Honorable mention award

Thesis by Benedikt Loepp


We present an approach to interactive recommending that combines the advantages of algorithmic techniques with the benefits of user-controlled, interactive exploration in a novel manner. The method extracts latent factors from a matrix of user rating data as commonly used in Collaborative Filtering, and generates dialogs in which the user iteratively chooses between two sets of sample items. Samples are chosen by the system for low and high values of each latent factor considered. The method positions the user in the latent factor space with few interaction steps, and finally selects items near the user position as recommendations. In a user study, we compare the system with three alternative approaches including manual search and automatic recommending. The results show significant advantages of our approach over the three competing alternatives in 15 out of 24 possible parameter comparisons, in particular with respect to item fit, interaction effort and user control. The findings corroborate our assumption that the proposed method achieves a good trade-off between automated and interactive functions in recommender systems.

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