Interpreting user inaction in recommender systems

Qian Zhao, Martijn C. Willemsen, Gediminas Adomavicius, F. Maxwell Harper, Joseph A. Konstan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Temporally, users browse and interact with items in recommender systems. However, for most systems, the majority of the displayed items do not elicit any action from users. In other words, the user-system interaction process includes three aspects: browsing, action, and inaction. Prior recommender systems literature has focused more on actions than on browsing or inaction. In this work, we deployed a ield survey in a live movie recommender system to interpret what inaction means from both the user's and the system's perspective, guided by psychological theories of human decision making. We further systematically study factors to infer the reasons of user inaction and demonstrate with oline data sets that this descriptive and predictive inaction model can provide beneits for recommender systems in terms of both action prediction and recommendation timing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRecSys 2018 - 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450359016
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5901-6
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2018
Event12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, RecSys 2018 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 2 Oct 20187 Oct 2018


Conference12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, RecSys 2018


  • Decision ield theory
  • Decision making
  • User inaction


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