Tourism Recommendation: Re-Thinking the User

by Robin Burke (University of Colorado, Boulder, USA)


From its inception, research in recommender systems has focused almost exclusively on the individual end user or users to whom recommendations are delivered. The limits of this approach have become apparent as the field moves towards a greater recognition of the perspectives of multiple stakeholders. The incorporation of the multiple viewpoints in recommender systems presents a challenge to our understanding of the „user“ of a recommender system and to accepted notions of how recommender systems should be designed, operated and evaluated. In tourism, we see a diversity of non-end-user stakeholders from individual entrepreneurs and large corporations to non-profits and governmental entities, and a range of types of concerns from profit to fairness to ecological impact. What would recommender systems research look like if we considered these stakeholders to be first-class users of our systems and not just bystanders? In this talk, we’ll look at the challenges and benefits of such an approach for the tourism domain.

About the speaker

Robin Burke is Professor and Chair of the Department of Information Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He conducts research in personalized recommender systems, a field he helped found and develop. His most recent projects explore fairness, accountability and transparency in recommendation through the integration of objectives from diverse stakeholders. He joined the Department of Information Science in 2019 from the School of Computing at DePaul University. Dr Burke obtained his PhD in Computer Science from Northwestern University in 1993 and a BS in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd College in 1986. Professor Burke is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in various areas of artificial intelligence including recommender systems, machine learning and information retrieval. His work has received support from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission and the MacArthur Foundation, among others.