Building Useful Recommender Systems for Tourists

by Francesco Ricci (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy)


Recommender systems are information search and filtering tools that should provide suggestions for items to be of use to a user. State of the art recommender systems exploit data mining and information retrieval techniques to predict to what extent an item fits the user needs and wants, but often they end up in making obvious and uninteresting suggestions especially in complex domains, such as tourism. In the talk, classical recommender systems ideas and techniques will be introduced and criticised. We will discuss some of the key ingredients necessary to build a useful recommender system for tourist. Hence, we will point out some limitations and open challenges for recommender systems research. We will then present a couple of novel techniques that are leveraging data collected from observation of tourists behaviour to generate more useful individual and group recommendations.

About the speaker

Prof. Dr. Francesco Ricci is full professor and dean of the Faculty of Computer Science, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy). F. Ricci has established in Bolzano a reference point for the research on Recommender Systems. He has co-edited the Recommender Systems Handbook (Springer 2011, 2015), and has been actively working in this community as President of the Steering Committee of the ACM conference on Recommender Systems (2007-2010). He was previously (from 2000 to 2006) senior researcher and the technical director of the eCommerce and Tourism Research Lab (eCTRL) at ITC-irst (Trento, Italy). From 1998 to 2000 he was system architect in the Research and Technology Department (Process and Reuse Technologies) of Sodalia s.p.a. F.Ricci has participated to several international research projects such as: RECOM (funded by Deutsche Telekom), etPackaging (funded by ECCA), European Tourist Destination Portal (funded by European Travel Commission), Harmoten (funded by IST), DieToRecs (Intelligent Recommendation for Tourist Destination Decision Making, funded by IST). Francesco Ricci is author of more than one hundred fifty refereed publications and, according to Google Scholar, has H-index 51 and around 15,000 citations.

Download presentation slides