Evaluating narrative-driven movie recommendations on reddit

Lukas Eberhard, Lisa Posch, Simon Walk, Denis Helic

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Recommender systems have become omni-present tools that are used by a wide variety of users in everyday life tasks, such as finding products in Web stores or online movie streaming portals. However, in situations where users already have an idea of what they are looking for (e.g., 'The Lord of the Rings', but in space with a dark vibe), most traditional recommender algorithms struggle to adequately address such a priori defined requirements. Therefore, users have built dedicated discussion boards to ask peers for suggestions, which ideally fulfill the stated requirements. In this paper, we set out to determine the utility of well-established recommender algorithms for calculating recommendations when provided with such a narrative. To that end, we first crowdsource a reference evaluation dataset from human movie suggestions. We use this dataset to evaluate the potential of five recommendation algorithms for incorporating such a narrative into their recommendations. Further, we make the dataset available for other researchers to advance the state of research in the field of narrative-driven recommendations. Finally, we use our evaluation dataset to improve not only our algorithmic recommendations, but also existing empirical recommendations of IMDb. Our findings suggest that the implemented recommender algorithms yield vastly different suggestions than humans when presented with the same a priori requirements. However, with carefully configured post-filtering techniques, we can outperform the baseline by up to 100%. This represents an important first step towards more refined algorithmic narrative-driven recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event24th ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces: IUI 2019 - Marina del Ray, United States
Duration: 17 Mar 201920 Mar 2019


Conference24th ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces
Abbreviated titleIUI'19
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMarina del Ray


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Dataset
  • Narrative-driven recommendations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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