“I’m looking for something like …”: Combining Narratives and Example Items for Narrative-driven Book Recommendation

Toine Bogers, Marijn Koolen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
309 Downloads (Pure)


Current-generation recommendation algorithms are often focused on generic ratings prediction and item ranking tasks based on a user's past preferences. However, many recommendations are more complex with specific criteria and constraints on which items are relevant. This paper focuses on a particular type of complex recommendation needs: narrative-driven recommendation, where users describe their needs in short narratives, often with one or more example items that fit that need, against a background of historical preferences that may not be spelled out in the narrative, but do play a role in their considerations. Previous work has shown that numerous examples of such complex needs exist on the Web, yet current-generation systems offer limited to no support for these needs. In this paer, we focus on narrative-driven book recommendation in the context of LibraryThing users posting recommendation requests in the discussion forums. We propose several new algorithms that take advantage of these narratives and example items as well as hybrid systems, the majority of which significantly outperform classic collaborative filtering. We show that narrative-driven recommendation is indeed a complex scenario that requires further study. Our findings have consequences for system design and development not only in the book domain, but also in other domains where users express focused recommendation needs, such as movies, television, games, and music.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKaRS 2018: Proceedings of the 2018 Knowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems Workshop
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationVancouver, Canada
PublisherCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventKnowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems Workshop - Vancouver, BC, Canada, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 7 Oct 20187 Oct 2018


WorkshopKnowledge-aware and Conversational Recommender Systems Workshop
LocationVancouver, BC, Canada
Internet address
SeriesCEUR Workshop Proceedings


  • narrative-driven recommendation
  • complex recommendation
  • book recommendation


Dive into the research topics of '“I’m looking for something like …”: Combining Narratives and Example Items for Narrative-driven Book Recommendation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this