The 2nd Workshop on the Impact of Recommender Systems with ACM RecSys 2020

The 2nd Workshop on the Impact of Recommender Systems with ACM RecSys 2020

Co-located with the 14th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, 25th September 2020, Online

Online Format

The workshop will be held online. It will take place between at 2pm and 6pm GMT on September 25th.


The workshop consists of an opening keynote, oral presentations of research papers, an interactive session, and a concluding open discussion.


Recommender Systems in Business and Life

Abstract: This talk will present a personal perspective on my involvement in recommender systems over the past 25 years, including my experiences in translating academic research into practical products and services. I will reflect on some of the early lessons learned when bringing recommender systems to new markets — such as the nascent mobile internet back in the early 2000’s — where the primary impact was less about the now familiar e-commerce benefits of selling more products as it was about saving people time and reducing friction and frustration as they struggled with small screens, low bandwidth, and a distinctly limited mode of interaction. This talk will also consider what the future might hold for recommender systems as they begin to be deployed in novel application contexts and domains, such as health and exercise, which forces us to confront a very different set of deployment circumstances, user needs, and potential benefits.

Barry Smyth     Prof. Barry Smyth holds the Digital Chair of Computer Science in University College Dublin and is a Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics. He is a Fellow of the European Coordinating Committee on Artificial Intelligence (ECCAI) since 2003 and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2011. In 2014 Barry was awarded an Honrary Doctor of Technology (Hons. D.Tech) from Robert Gordon University in the UK. Barry was the Director of the Clarity Centre for Sensor Web Technologies (2008 - 2013) and has previously held the position of Head of School for the School of Computer Science and Informatics in UCD.Barry's research interests fall within the field Artificial Intelligence and include case-based reasoning, machine learning, recommender systems, user modeling and personalization.

Detailed Schedule, all times in GMT

14:00 - 14:10 Opening
14:10 - 15:00 Keynote (Barry Smyth)
15:00 - 15:30 Paper Session 1
15:30 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 17:00 Paper Session 2
17:00 - 18:00 Panel Discussion

Background of the Workshop

Research in the area of recommender systems is largely focused on helping individual users finding items they are interested in. This is usually done by learning to rank the recommendable items based on their assumed relevance for each user. The implicit underlying goal of a such system is to affect users in different positive ways, e.g., by making their search and decision processes easier or by helping them discover new things.

Recommender systems can, however, also have other more directly-measurable impacts, e.g., such that go beyond the individual user or the short term influence. A recommender system on a news platform, for example, can lead to a shift in the reading patterns of the entire user base. Similarly, on e-commerce platforms, it has been shown that a recommender can induce significant changes in the purchase behavior of consumers, leading, for example, to generally higher sales diversity across the site. On the other hand, recommender systems usually serve certain business goals and can have an impact not only on the customers, e.g., by stimulating higher engagement on a media streaming platform or a social network, but also direct and indirect affect sales, revenue or conversion and churn rates.

The workshop is a successor of the First Workshop on the Impact of Recommender Systems (ImpactRS 2019), which was held at ACM RecSys 2019 in Copenhagen.

Goals of the Workshop

The research literature that considers such more direct measurements of impact of recommender systems on the various stakeholders is comparably scarce and scattered. With the proposed workshop, we pursue different goals.


The topics of interest include, e.g.,

Submission and Publication

Submission types are long research papers reporting on complete research (14 pages plus references), short papers reporting on work in progress (7 pages plus references), and position papers (up to four pages including references). Submissions must be formatted according to the conference guidelines (ACM SIG Proceedings Template - single column) and submitted via EasyChair.

The review process is single-blind, i.e., please include author names in the papers. All papers will be peer reviewed by the workshop's program committee.

Important dates


Workshop Co-Organizers

Program Committee


If you have questions regarding the workshop, do not hesitate to contact the workshop chairs: