Risk "attention" or "adventure": A qualitative study of novelty and familiarity in music listening

Vikas Kumar, Sabirat Rubya, Joseph A. Konstan, Loren Terveen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While recommendations systems have shown great improvements in generally predicting relevant items, they still face challenges in achieving the delicate balance between novel and familiar options. Existing works in pursuit to address the challenge have focused on the activity logs and algorithms while largely ignoring the userspecific needs and challenges in the balance users seek between novelty and familiarity. As a result, the assumptions imposed on user actions based on activity logs are limited and could lead to misinterpretation of users' needs. To better understand user needs, in this paper, we study users engaged in online music listening activity to understand users' interpretations and rationales in their novel and familiar music selections. We show that a combination of factors, both explicit and implicit, such as boredom, need of attention, risk of a bad selection; that play influential role in users' novel and familiar music selections. We discuss the findings and the implications for user interactions and user modeling that could help better understand what, when, and how users seek the balance between novelty or familiarity in their recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2018
Event5th Joint Workshop on Interfaces and Human Decision Making for Recommender Systems, IntRS 2018 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Oct 7 2018 → …


  • Music Recommendation
  • Novel Versus Familiar
  • Qualitative Study
  • User Preferences


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