Document recommendations based on knowledge flows: A hybrid of personalized and group-based approaches



Recommender systems can mitigate the information overload problem and help workers retrieve knowledge based on their preferences. In a knowledge-intensive environment, knowledge workers need to access task-related codified knowledge (documents) to perform tasks. A worker's document referencing behavior can be modeled as a knowledge flow (KF) to represent the evolution of his or her information needs over time. Document recommendation methods can proactively support knowledge workers in the performance of tasks by recommending appropriate documents to meet their information needs. However, most traditional recommendation methods do not consider workers’ KFs or the information needs of the majority of a group of workers with similar KFs. A group's needs may partially reflect the needs of an individual worker that cannot be inferred from his or her past referencing behavior. In other words, the group's knowledge complements that of the individual worker. Thus, we leverage the group perspective to complement the personal perspective by using hybrid approaches, which combine the KF-based group recommendation method (KFGR) with traditional personalized-recommendation methods. The proposed hybrid methods achieve a trade-off between the group-based and personalized methods by exploiting the strengths of both. The results of our experiment show that the proposed methods can enhance the quality of recommendations made by traditional methods.