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A Social Movie Recommender Engine using Semantics


“Film Buddy” is an innovative, interactive, social, non-commercial movie recommender engine. It was developed as part of her thesis by Sofia Yfantidou, senior Informatics student at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Here’s why “Film Buddy” is so special:

Immediate Results

“Film Buddy” extracts user data from Facebook, given the user's permission. This way it eliminates the time and effort needed for a user to build one's profile either by giving ratings or by stating one's preferences explicitly in any other way. Not only “Film Buddy” utilizes the user's likes to build one's profile, a practice common in many social recommender systems based on Facebook data, but it also uses the user's posts, which significantly outperform the user's likes numerically. “Film Buddy” allows users to get recommendations that suit their tastes just by clicking a button; the rest is taken care of in the background.

Accurate User-profiling

“Film Buddy” not only uses raw data and keywords extracted from a user's social media profile, but also expands this data based on semantic relatedness, in order to achieve better profiling. Moreover, it uses the same semantic expansion technique to build the movies' profiles, introducing an automatic semantic aware tagging technique.

Interactive User Interface

The UI of “Film Buddy” is designed to improve the user experience and enhance the users' satisfaction. Users have a say over what is recommended to them. “Film Buddy'” allows users to edit their recommendation-profile and thus play a major role over the recommendation process. Also, it offers an interactive UI, where users can filter results, as well as get explanations about the recommendations, increasing users' trust as a result.

Serendipitous Results

“Film Buddy” does not use users' ratings or items' popularity to provide recommendations. Instead, it only uses the degree an item matches the user's interests and preferences, recommending only the best matches. This ways it does not face any serendipity issues, as all movies are treated equally either they are a Box Office hit or an indie European production. This way it succeeds in revealing even the most surprising, unexpected results if they suit a user's tastes.

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