Research Area:  Machine Learning
With rapid advancements in internet applications, the growth rate of recommendation systems for tourists has skyrocketed. This has generated an enormous amount of travel-based data in the form of reviews, blogs, and ratings. However, most recommendation systems only recommend the top-rated places. Along with the top-ranked places, we aim to discover places that are often ignored by tourists owing to lack of promotion or effective advertising, referred to as under-emphasized locations. In this study, we use all relevant data, such as travel blogs, ratings, and reviews, in order to obtain optimal recommendations. We also aim to discover the latent factors that need to be addressed, such as food, cleanliness, and opening hours, and recommend a tourist place based on user history data. In this study, we propose a cross mapping table approach based on the location-s popularity, ratings, latent topics, and sentiments. An objective function for recommendation optimization is formulated based on these mappings. The baseline algorithms are latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) and support vector machine (SVM). Our results show that the combined features of LDA, SVM, ratings, and cross mappings are conducive to enhanced performance. The main motivation of this study was to help tourist industries to direct more attention towards designing effective promotional activities for under-emphasized locations.
Author(s) Name:  Wafa Shafqat and Yung-Cheol Byun
Journal name:  Sustainability
Publisher name:  MDPI
Paper Link:   https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/1/320/htm