Developing a Conversational Recommendation Systemfor Navigating Limited Options

Victor S. Bursztyn, Jennifer Healey, Eunyee Koh, Nedim Lipka, Larry Birnbaum

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We have developed a conversational recommendation system designed to help users navigate through a set of limited options to find the best choice. Unlike many internet scale systems that use a singular set of search terms and return a ranked list of options from amongst thousands, our system uses multi-turn user dialog to deeply understand the user's preferences. The system responds in context to the user's specific and immediate feedback to make sequential recommendations. We envision our system would be highly useful in situations with intrinsic constraints, such as finding the right restaurant within walking distance or the right retail item within a limited inventory. Our research prototype instantiates the former use case, leveraging real data from Google Places, Yelp, and Zomato. We evaluated our system against a similar system that did not incorporate user feedback in a 16 person remote study, generating 64 scenario-based search journeys. When our recommendation system was successfully triggered, we saw both an increase in efficiency and a higher confidence rating with respect to final user choice. We also found that users preferred our system (75%) compared with the baseline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExtended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2021
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380959
DOIs
StatePublished - May 8 2021
Event2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI EA 2021 - Virtual, Online, Japan
Duration: May 8 2021May 13 2021

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems: Making Waves, Combining Strengths, CHI EA 2021
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/8/215/13/21

Keywords

  • agreement
  • conversational
  • interactive
  • natural language processing
  • recommendation system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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