Title: Rewarding honest ratings through personalised recommendations in electronic commerce

Authors: Martin Ekstrom, Ana Cristina Bicharra Garcia, Hans Bjornsson

Addresses: CIFE, Terman Engineering Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4020, USA. ' Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rua Passo da Patria No. 156 – bloco E – sala 453, CEP, 24210 240, Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. ' CIFE, Terman Engineering Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Abstract: Recommender systems (RS) are important facilitators of electronic commerce as they enable the retrieval of useful information. However, it is crucial to motivate people to contribute truthful evaluations. This paper proposes an incentive mechanism, HYRIWYG (How You Rate Influences What You Get) that encourages the evaluators to volunteer their true opinions, by compensating users with rewards that reflect the quality of the RS to which they contribute. This effect is achieved through a redemption rule that limits the use of the incentives to products that the RS suggests based on the user|s personal profile. The HYRIWYG is a general incentive mechanism that can be embedded in most existing recommender systems, as long as they calculate personalised profiles based on user feedback. The deployment of the HYRIWYG mechanism to support a collaborative filtering mechanism in the domain of movie ratings illustrates its usefulness in settings where user tastes are heterogeneous.

Keywords: electronic commerce; recommender systems; reputation mechanisms; trust; incentives; rewards; personalisation; e-commerce; e-business; electronic business; true opinions; reliable evaluations; collaborative filtering; honest ratings; personalised recommendations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2005.007280

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2005 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.392 - 410

Published online: 30 Jun 2005 *

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