Kevin Gray: What are recommender systems? Anna Farzindar: When you search for a product on Amazon, the algorithm suggests other items with the note "Recommended for you, Kevin" or "Customers who bought this item also bought…" Recommender systems predict the preference of the user for these items, which could be in form of a rating or response. When more data becomes available for a customer profile, the recommendations become more accurate. There are a variety of applications for recommendations including movies (e.g. Could you give us a brief history of how they came about?
I recently gave a talk about recommender systems at the Data Science Sydney meetup (the slides are available here). This post roughly follows the outline of the talk, expanding on some of the key points in non-slide form (i.e., complete sentences and paragraphs!). The first few sections give a broad overview of the field and the common recommendation paradigms, while the final part is dedicated to debunking five common myths about recommender systems. The key reason why many people seem to care about recommender systems is money. For companies such as Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, recommender systems drive significant engagement and revenue. But this is the more cynical view of things.
Recommender systems have been part of the Internet for almost two decades. Dozens of vendors have built recommendation technologies and taken them to market in two waves, roughly aligning with the web 1.0 and 2.0 revolutions. Today recommender systems are found in a multitude of online services. They have been developed using a variety of techniques and user interfaces. They have been nurtured with millions of users’ explicit and implicit preferences (most often with their permission). Frequently they provide relevant recommendations that increase the revenue or user engagement of the online services that operate them. However, when we evaluate the current generation of recommender systems from the point of view of the “recommendee,” we find that most recommender systems serve the goals of the business instead of their users’ interests. Thus we believe that the big promise of recommender systems has yet to be fulfilled. We foresee a third wave of recommender systems that act directly on behalf of their users across a range of domains instead of acting as a sales assistant. We also predict that such new recommender systems will better deal with information overload, take advantage of contextual clues from mobile devices, and utilize the vast information and computation stores available through cloud-computing services to maximize users’ long-term goals
Then came eBay and Amazon in 1995....... Amazon started as bookstore and eBay as marketplace for sale of goods. Since then, as Digital tsunami flooded, there are tons of websites selling everything on web but these two are still going great because of their product recommendations. We as customers, love that personal touch and feeling special, whether it's being greeted by name when we walk into the store, a shop owner remembering our birthday, helping us personally to bays where products are kept, or being able to customize a website to our needs. It can make us feel like we are single most important customer. But in an online world, there is no Bob or Sandra to guide you through the product you may like.