Recently there has been a growing interest in fairness-aware recommender systems including fairness in providing consistent performance across different users or groups of users. A recommender system could be considered unfair if the recommendations do not fairly represent the tastes of a certain group of users while other groups receive recommendations that are consistent with their preferences. In this paper, we use a metric called miscalibration for measuring how a recommendation algorithm is responsive to users’ true preferences and we consider how various algorithms may result in different degrees of miscalibration for different users. In particular, we conjecture that popularity bias which is a well-known phenomenon in recommendation is one important factor leading to miscalibration in recommendation. Our experimental results using two real-world datasets show that there is a connection between how different user groups are affected by algorithmic popularity bias and their level of interest in popular items. Moreover, we show that the more a group is affected by the algorithmic popularity bias, the more their recommendations are miscalibrated.
User-centered Evaluation of Popularity Bias in Recommender Systems
Recommendation and ranking systems are known to suffer from popularity bias; the tendency of the algorithm to favor a few popular items while under-representing the majority of other items. Prior research has examined various approaches for mitigating popularity bias and enhancing the recommendation of long-tail, less popular, items. The effectiveness of these approaches is often assessed using different metrics to evaluate the extent to which over-concentration on popular items is reduced. However, not much attention has been given to the user-centered evaluation of this bias; how different users with different levels of interest towards popular items are affected by such algorithms. In this paper, we show the limitations of the existing metrics to evaluate popularity bias mitigation when we want to assess these algorithms from the users’ perspective and we propose a new metric that can address these limitations. In addition, we present an effective approach that mitigates popularity bias from the user-centered point of view. Finally, we investigate several state-of-the-art approaches proposed in recent years to mitigate popularity bias and evaluate their performances using the existing metrics and also from the users’ perspective. Our experimental results using two publicly-available datasets show that existing popularity bias mitigation techniques ignore the users’ more »
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- UMAP '21: Proceedings Of The 29th ACM Conference On User Modeling, Adaptation And Personalization
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 119 to 129
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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