User, Agent, Subject, Spy

I gave this talk on July 26, 2019 on a visit to Criteo AI Labs.

My Research

These papers provide more details on the research I presented. Many of them have accompanying code to reproduce the experiments and results.


Michael D. Ekstrand. 2020. LensKit for Python: Next-Generation Software for Recommender Systems Experiments. In Proceedings of the 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM '20, Resource track). ACM, pp. 2999–3006. DOI 10.1145/3340531.3412778. arXiv:1809.03125 [cs.IR]. NSF PAR 10199450. No acceptance rate reported. Cited 24 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand, Michael Ludwig, Joseph A. Konstan, and John T. Riedl. 2011. Rethinking The Recommender Research Ecosystem: Reproducibility, Openness, and LensKit. In Proceedings of the Fifth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '11). ACM, pp. 133–140. DOI 10.1145/2043932.2043958. Acceptance rate: 27% (20% for oral presentation, which this received). Cited 173 times.


Michael Ekstrand and John Riedl. 2012. When Recommenders Fail: Predicting Recommender Failure for Algorithm Selection and Combination. Short paper in Proceedings of the Sixth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '12). ACM, pp. 233–236. DOI 10.1145/2365952.2366002. Acceptance rate: 32%. Cited 61 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand, F. Maxwell Harper, Martijn C. Willemsen, and Joseph A. Konstan. 2014. User Perception of Differences in Recommender Algorithms. In Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '14). ACM. DOI 10.1145/2645710.2645737. Acceptance rate: 23%. Cited 146 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand, Daniel Kluver, F. Maxwell Harper, and Joseph A. Konstan. 2015. Letting Users Choose Recommender Algorithms: An Experimental Study. In Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '15). ACM. DOI 10.1145/2792838.2800195. Acceptance rate: 21%. Cited 82 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand and Martijn C. Willemsen. 2016. Behaviorism is Not Enough: Better Recommendations through Listening to Users. In Proceedings of the Tenth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '16, Past, Present, and Future track). ACM. DOI 10.1145/2959100.2959179. Acceptance rate: 36%. Cited 66 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand, Ion Madrazo Azpiazu, Katherine Landau Wright, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2018. Retrieving and Recommending for the Classroom: Stakeholders, Objectives, Resources, and Users. In Proceedings of the ComplexRec 2018 Second Workshop on Recommendation in Complex Scenarios (ComplexRec '18), at RecSys 2018. Cited 4 times.


Maria Soledad Pera, Katherine Wright, and Michael D. Ekstrand. 2018. Recommending Texts to Children with an Expert in the Loop. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Children & Recommender Systems (KidRec '18), at IDC 2018. DOI 10.18122/cs_facpubs/140/boisestate. Cited 7 times.


Mucun Tian and Michael D. Ekstrand. 2018. Monte Carlo Estimates of Evaluation Metric Error and Bias. Computer Science Faculty Publications and Presentations 148. Boise State University. Presented at the REVEAL 2018 Workshop on Offline Evaluation for Recommender Systems, a workshop at RecSys 2018. DOI 10.18122/cs_facpubs/148/boisestate. NSF PAR 10074452. Cited 1 time.


Michael D. Ekstrand, Mucun Tian, Ion Madrazo Azpiazu, Jennifer D. Ekstrand, Oghenemaro Anuyah, David McNeill, and Maria Soledad Pera. 2018. All The Cool Kids, How Do They Fit In?: Popularity and Demographic Biases in Recommender Evaluation and Effectiveness. In Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAT* 2018). PMLR, Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 81:172–186. Acceptance rate: 24%. Cited 123 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand, Mucun Tian, Mohammed R. Imran Kazi, Hoda Mehrpouyan, and Daniel Kluver. 2018. Exploring Author Gender in Book Rating and Recommendation. In Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys '18). ACM, pp. 242–250. DOI 10.1145/3240323.3240373. arXiv:1808.07586v1 [cs.IR]. Acceptance rate: 17.5%. Cited 102 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand and Vaibhav Mahant. 2017. Sturgeon and the Cool Kids: Problems with Random Decoys for Top-N Recommender Evaluation. In Proceedings of the 30th International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference (Recommender Systems track). AAAI, pp. 639–644. No acceptance rate reported. Cited 6 times.


Michael D. Ekstrand, Rezvan Joshaghani, and Hoda Mehrpouyan. 2018. Privacy for All: Ensuring Fair and Equitable Privacy Protections. In Proceedings of the 1st Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAT* 2018). PMLR, Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 81:35–47. Acceptance rate: 24%. Cited 55 times.



Other Work Cited

  • ACM Code of Ethics
  • Crawford, K. 2017. The Trouble with Bias. NIPS 2017 Keynote.
  • Robyn Speer. 2017. ConceptNet Numberbatch 17.04: better, less-stereotyped word vectors.
  • Dwork, C., Hardt, M., Pitassi, T., Reingold, O., & Zemel, R. 2012. Fairness Through Awareness. In (Proceedings of the 3rd Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science Conference (pp. 214–226). New York, NY, USA: ACM. DOI 10.1145/2090236.2090255
  • Friedler, S. A., Scheidegger, C., & Venkatasubramanian, S. 2016. On the (im)possibility of fairness. arXiv:1609.07236 [cs, Stat]. Retrieved from
  • Chouldechova, A. 2016. Fair prediction with disparate impact: A study of bias in recidivism prediction instruments. arXiv [stat.AP]. Retrieved from
  • Kleinberg, J., Mullainathan, S., & Raghavan, M. 2016. Inherent Trade-Offs in the Fair Determination of Risk Scores. arXiv [cs.LG]. Retrieved from
  • Lipton, Z. C., Chouldechova, A., & McAuley, J. 2017. Does mitigating ML’s disparate impact require disparate treatment? arXiv [stat.ML]. Retrieved from
  • Burke, R. 2017. Multisided Fairness for Recommendation. arXiv [cs.CY]. Retrieved from
  • Neil Hunt. 2014. 🎞 Quantifying the Value of Better Recommendations.
  • FATREC Workshop Series
  • Fairness at TREC 2019
  • Cremonesi, P., Koren, Y., & Turrin, R. 2010. Performance of Recommender Algorithms on Top-n Recommendation Tasks. In Proceedings of the Fourth ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys 2010) (pp. 39–46). New York, NY, USA: ACM.
  • Sturgeon, T. 1958. ON HAND: A Book. Venture Science Fiction, 2(2), 66. March 1958.

Q&A Papers

These papers I mentioned in the Q&A and other comments:

  • Muhammad Ali, Piotr Sapiezynski, Miranda Bogen, Aleksandra Korolova, Alan Mislove, and Aaron Rieke. 2019. Discrimination through optimization: How Facebook’s ad delivery can lead to skewed outcomes. arXiv:1904.02095 [cs] (April 2019).
  • Tatsunori B Hashimoto, Megha Srivastava, Hongseok Namkoong, and Percy Liang. 2018. Fairness Without Demographics in Repeated Loss Minimization. arXiv:1806.08010.