IEEE Access, 10:26715-26729, 2022. Link Paper doi abstract bibtex
Current recommender systems employ item-centric properties to estimate ratings and present the results to the user. However, recent studies highlight the fact that the stages of item fruition also involve extrinsic factors, such as the interaction with the service provider before, during and after item selection. In other words, a holistic view of consumer experience, including local properties of items, as well as consumers’ perceptions of item fruition, should be adopted to enhance user awareness and decision-making. In this work, we integrate recommender systems with service models to reason about the different stages of item fruition. By exploiting the Service Journey Maps to define service-based item and user profiles, we develop a novel family of recommender systems that evaluate items by taking preference management and overall consumer experience into account. Moreover, we introduce a two-level visual model to provide users with different information about recommendation results: (i) the higher level summarizes consumer experience about items and supports the identification of promising suggestions within a possibly long list of results; (ii) the lower level enables the exploration of detailed data about the local properties of items. In a user test instantiated in the home-booking domain, we compared our models to standard recommender systems. We found that the service-based algorithms that only use item fruition experience excel in ranking and minimize the error in rating estimation. Moreover, the combination of data about item fruition experience and item properties achieves slightly lower recommendation performance; however, it enhances users’ perceptions of the awareness and the decision-making support provided by the system. These results encourage the adoption of service-based models to summarize user preferences and experience in recommender systems.