Recommender Systems Alone Are Not Everything: Towards a Broader Perspective in the Evaluation of Recommender Systems

Loepp, B. (2022).
In PERSPECTIVES 22: Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Perspectives on the Evaluation of Recommender Systems.

Abstract:
Thus far, in most of the user experiments conducted in the area of recommender systems, the respective system is considered as an isolated component, i.e., participants can only interact with the recommender that is under investigation. This fails to recognize the situation of users in real-world settings, where the recommender usually represents only one part of a greater system, with many other options for users to find suitable items than using the mechanisms that are part of the recommender, e.g., liking, rating, or critiquing. For example, in current web applications, users can often choose from a wide range of decision aids, from text-based search over faceted filtering to intelligent conversational agents. This variety of methods, which may equally support users in their decision making, raises the question of whether the current practice in recommender evaluation is sufficient to fully capture the user experience. In this position paper, we discuss the need to take a broader perspective in future evaluations of recommender systems, and raise awareness for evaluation methods which we think may help to achieve this goal, but have not yet gained the attention they deserve.

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