Understanding the Impact of Weather for POI Recommendations

Christoph Trattner, Alexander Oberegger, Lukas Eberhard, Denis Parra and Leandro Balby Marinho

POI (point of interest) recommender systems for location-based social network services, such as Foursquare or Yelp, have gained tremendous popularity in the past few years. Much work has been dedicated into improving recommendation services in such systems by integrating different features that are assumed to have an impact on people’s preferences for POIs, such as time and geolocation. Yet, little attention has been paid to the impact of weather on the users’ final decision to visit a recommended POI. In this paper we contribute to this area of research by presenting the first results of a study that aims to predict the POIs that users will visit based on weather data. To this end, we extend the state-of-the-art Rank-GeoFM POI recommender algorithm with additional weather-related features, such as temperature, cloud cover, humidity and precipitation intensity. We show that using weather data not only significantly increases the recommendation accuracy in comparison to the original algorithm, but also outperforms its time-based variant. Furthermore, we present the magnitude of impact of each feature on the recommendation quality, showing the need to study the weather context in more detail in the light of POI recommendation systems.

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