Cross-system user modeling and personalization on the Social Web

  • Fabian AbelEmail author
  • Eelco Herder
  • Geert-Jan Houben
  • Nicola Henze
  • Daniel Krause
Original Paper


In order to adapt functionality to their individual users, systems need information about these users. The Social Web provides opportunities to gather user data from outside the system itself. Aggregated user data may be useful to address cold-start problems as well as sparse user profiles, but this depends on the nature of individual user profiles distributed on the Social Web. For example, does it make sense to re-use Flickr profiles to recommend bookmarks in Delicious? In this article, we study distributed form-based and tag-based user profiles, based on a large dataset aggregated from the Social Web. We analyze the completeness, consistency and replication of form-based profiles, which users explicitly create by filling out forms at Social Web systems such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. We also investigate tag-based profiles, which result from social tagging activities in systems such as Flickr, Delicious and StumbleUpon: to what extent do tag-based profiles overlap between different systems, what are the benefits of aggregating tag-based profiles. Based on these insights, we developed and evaluated the performance of several cross-system user modeling strategies in the context of recommender systems. The evaluation results show that the proposed methods solve the cold-start problem and improve recommendation quality significantly, even beyond the cold-start.


User modeling Personalization Social Web User profiles Social tagging Cross-system user modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabian Abel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eelco Herder
    • 2
  • Geert-Jan Houben
    • 1
  • Nicola Henze
    • 2
  • Daniel Krause
    • 2
  1. 1.Web Information SystemsDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.L3S Research CenterLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany

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