Explaining collaborative filtering recommendations

J. L. Herlocker, J. A. Konstan, J. Riedl

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1026 Scopus citations


Automated collaborative filtering (ACF) systems predict a person's affinity for items or information by connecting that person's recorded interests with the recorded interests of a community of people and sharing ratings between like-minded persons. However, current recommender systems are black boxes, providing no transparency into the working of the recommendation. Explanations provide that transparency, exposing the reasoning and data behind a recommendation. In this paper, we address explanation interfaces for ACF systems - how they should be implemented and why they should be implemented. To explore how, we present a model for explanations based on the user's conceptual model of the recommendation process. We then present experimental results demonstrating what components of an explanation are the most compelling. To address why, we present experimental evidence that shows that providing explanations can improve the acceptance of ACF systems. We also describe some initial explorations into measuring how explanations can improve the filtering performance of users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
EventACM 2000 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work - Philadelphia, PA, United States
Duration: Dec 2 2000Dec 6 2000


OtherACM 2000 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia, PA


  • Collaborative filtering
  • Explanations
  • GroupLens
  • MovieLens
  • Recommender systems


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