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  1. 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 themore »users’ tolerance towards popular items. Our proposed user-centered method can tackle popularity bias effectively for different users while also improving the existing metrics.« less
  2. 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.
  3. Recommender systems are often biased toward popular items. In other words, few items are frequently recommended while the majority of items do not get proportionate attention. That leads to low coverage of items in recommendation lists across users (i.e. low aggregate diversity) and unfair distribution of recommended items. In this paper, we introduce FairMatch, a general graph-based algorithm that works as a post-processing approach after recommendation generation for improving aggregate diversity. The algorithm iteratively finds items that are rarely recommended yet are high-quality and add them to the users' final recommendation lists. This is done by solving the maximum flow problem on the recommendation bipartite graph. While we focus on aggregate diversity and fair distribution of recommended items, the algorithm can be adapted to other recommendation scenarios using different underlying definitions of fairness. A comprehensive set of experiments on two datasets and comparison with state-of-the-art baselines show that FairMatch, while significantly improving aggregate diversity, provides comparable recommendation accuracy.