Social choice-based explanations: An approach to enhancing fairness and consensus aspects

Thi Ngoc Trang Tran, Muesluem Atas, Man Viet Le, Ralph Samer, Martin Stettinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Explanations are integrated into recommender systems to give users an insight into the recommendation generation process. Compared to single-user recommender systems, explanations in group recommender systems have further goals. Examples thereof are fairness, which helps to take into account as much as possible group members’ preferences and consensus, which persuades group members to agree on a decision. In this paper, we proposed different types of explanations and found the most effective ones in terms of increasing the fairness perception, consensus perception and satisfaction of group members with regard to group recommendations. We conducted a user study to evaluate the proposed explanations. The results show that explanations which consider the preferences of all or the majority of group members achieve the best results in terms of the mentioned dimensions. Besides, we discovered positive correlations among these aspects. In the context of repeated decisions, group members’ satisfaction from previous decisions are helpful to improve the fairness perception of users concerning group recommendations and speed up the group decision-making process. Furthermore, we found out that gender diversity does influence the perception of users regarding the mentioned dimensions of the explanations. Although the proposed explanations were analyzed in group decision scenarios for non-configurable (no-attribute) items, there exist potential possibilities to apply them to explanations for configurable items.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-431
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Universal Computer Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2020


  • Group composition
  • Group decision making
  • Group recommender systems
  • Preference aggregation strategies
  • Social aspects
  • Social choice theory
  • Social choicebased explanations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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