The contemporary city is increasingly being labeled as a smart city consisting of both physical and virtual spaces. This digital augmentation of urban life sets the scene for urban recommender systems to help citizens dealing with the abundance of digital information and corresponding choice overload, for example, by recommending the best place to have dinner based on your personal profile. There are, however, concerns that this kind of algorithmic filtering could lead to homogenization of urban experiences and a decline of social cohesion among citizens. To overcome this issue, scholars increasingly encourage the introduction of serendipity in all types of recommender systems. Nonetheless, it remains unclear how this can be achieved in practice. In this work, we study user evaluations of serendipity in urban recommender systems through a survey among 1,641 citizens. More specifically, we study which characteristics of recommended items contribute to serendipitous experiences and to what extent this increases user satisfaction and conversion. Our results align with findings in other application domains in the sense that there is a strong relation between the relevance and novelty of recommendations and the corresponding experienced serendipity. Moreover, serendipitous recommendations are found to increase the chance of users following up on these recommendations.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1– 12
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftJournal of The Association For Information Science And Technology
StatusPublished - 21 jul 2021


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