Real-World Recommender Systems for Academia: The Pain and Gain in Building, Operating, and Researching them [Long Version]

Joeran Beel, Siddharth Dinesh

Research on recommender systems is a challenging task, as is building and operating such systems. Major challenges include non-reproducible research results, dealing with noisy data, and answering many questions such as how many recommendations to display, how often, and, of course, how to generate recommendations most effectively. In the past six years, we built three research-article recommender systems for digital libraries and reference managers, and conducted research on these systems. In this paper, we share some experiences we made during that time. Among others, we discuss the required skills to build recommender systems, and why the literature provides little help in identifying promising recommendation approaches. We explain the challenge in creating a randomization engine to run A/B tests, and how low data quality impacts the calculation of bibliometrics. We further discuss why several of our experiments delivered disappointing results, and provide statistics on how many researchers showed interest in our recommendation dataset.

Knowledge Graph



Sign up or login to leave a comment