Effects of interactivity and presentation on review-based explanations for recommendations

Hernandez-Bocanegra, D. C., & Ziegler, J. (to appear). In Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2021. INTERACT 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer.


User reviews have become an important source for recommending and explaining products or services. Particularly, providing explanations based on user reviews may improve users’ perception of a recommender system (RS). However, little is known about how review-based explanations can be effectively and efficiently presented to users of RS. We investigate the potential of interactive explanations in review-based RS in the domain of hotels, and propose an explanation scheme inspired by dialog models and formal argument structures. Additionally, we also address the combined effect of interactivity and different presentation styles (i.e. using only text, a bar chart or a table), as well as the influence that different user characteristics might have on users’ perception of the system and its explanations. To such effect, we implemented a review-based RS using a matrix factorization explanatory method, and conducted a user study. Our results show that providing more interactive explanations in review-based RS has a significant positive influence on the perception of explanation quality, effectiveness and trust in the system by users, and that user characteristics such as rational decision-making style and social awareness also have a significant influence on this perception.


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