Michael Ekstrand

Automatically Building Research Reading Lists

Michael D. Ekstrand, Praveen Kannan, James A. Stemper, John T. Butler, Joseph A. Konstan, and John T. Riedl. 2010. Automatically Building Research Reading Lists. In Proceedings of the Fourth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '10). ACM, 159–166. DOI:10.1145/1864708.1864740. Acceptance rate: 19%. Cited 40 times (61 est.).


All new researchers face the daunting task of familiarizing themselves with the existing body of research literature in their respective fields. Recommender algorithms could aid in preparing these lists, but most current algorithms do not understand how to rate the importance of a paper within the literature, which might limit their effectiveness in this domain. We explore several methods for augmenting existing collaborative and content-based filtering algorithms with measures of the influence of a paper within the web of citations. We measure influence using well-known algorithms, such as HITS and PageRank, for measuring a node's importance in a graph. Among these augmentation methods is a novel method for using importance scores to influence collaborative filtering. We present a task-centered evaluation, including both an offline analysis and a user study, of the performance of the algorithms. Results from these studies indicate that collaborative filtering outperforms content-based approaches for generating introductory reading lists.