Recommending Based on Implicit Feedback
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Recommender systems have shown to be valuable tools for filtering, ranking, and discovery in a variety of application domains such as e-commerce, media repositories or document-based information in general that includes the various scenarios of Social Information Access discussed in this book. One key to the success of such systems lies in the precise acquisition or estimation of the user’s preferences. While general recommender systems research often relies on the existence of explicit preference statements for personalization, such information is often very sparse or unavailable in real-world applications. Information that allows us to assess the relevance of certain items indirectly through a user’s actions and behavior (implicit feedback) is in contrast often available in abundance. In this chapter we categorize different types of implicit feedback and review their use in the context of recommender systems and Social Information Access applications. We then extend the categorization scheme to be suitable to recent application domains. Finally, we present state-of-the-art algorithmic approaches, discuss challenges when using implicit feedback signals in particular with respect to popularity biases, and discuss selected recent works from the literature.