Our submission “Book Recommendation Beyond the Usual Suspects: Embedding Book Plots Together with Place and Time Informationrs” by Julian Risch, Samuele Garda and Ralf Krestel has won the Best Paper Award at the 20th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL 2018). It was the only paper at ICADL 2018 that received the best possible rating "strong accept" by all three reviewers. The award was received on November 21, 2018 in Hamilton, New Zealand. We are very proud of this prestigious award and the recognition it represents. The paper can be found here.
Content-based recommendation of books and other media is usually based on semantic similarity measures. While metadata can be compared easily, measuring the semantic similarity of narrative literature is challenging. Keyword-based approaches are biased to retrieve books of the same series or do not retrieve any results at all in sparser libraries. We propose to represent plots with dense vectors to foster semantic search for similar plots even if they do not have any words in common. Further, we propose to embed plots, places, and times in the same embedding space. Thereby, we allow arithmetics on these aspects. For example, a book with a similar plot but set in a different, user-specified place can be retrieved. We evaluate our findings on a set of 16,000 book synopses that spans literature from 500 years and 200 genres and compare our approach to a keyword-based baseline.