Infoscience

Journal article

Evaluating product search and recommender systems for E-commerce environments

Online systems that help users select the most preferential item from a large electronic catalog are known as product search and recommender systems. Evaluation of various proposed technologies is essential for further development in this area. This paper describes the design and implementation of two user studies in which a particular product search tool, known as example critiquing, was evaluated against a chosen baseline model. The results confirm that example critiquing significantly reduces users' task time and error rate while increasing decision accuracy. Additionally, the results of the second user study show that a particular implementation of example critiquing also made users more confident about their choices. The main contribution is that through these two user studies, an evaluation framework of three criteria was successfully identified, which can be used for evaluating general product search and recommender systems in E-commerce environments. These two experiments and the actual procedures also shed light on some of the most important issues which need to be considered for evaluating such tools, such as the preparation of materials for evaluation, user task design, the context of evaluation, the criteria, the measures and the methodology of result analyses.

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