International Workshop on Health Recommender Systems co-located with ACM RecSys 2017

International Workshop on Health Recommender Systems co-located with ACM RecSys 2017

We are pleased to announce the International Workshop on Health Recommender Systems co-located with the 11th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, 31st August 2017, Como (Italy).


Health is at the center of our everyday lives. During the 1st Health Recommender Systems workshop we elaborated a great variety of fields in which recommender systems can improve our awareness, understanding and behavior regarding our own health. At the same time these application areas bring new challenges into the recommender community. Recommendations that influence the health status of a patient, need to be either liable or accompanied by domain experts. To make the recommender liable, complex domain specific user models need to be created, which on the other hand creates privacy issues. While trust into a recommendation needs to be explicitly earned by transparency, explanations and empowerment, other systems might want to persuade users into beneficial actions that would not be willingly chosen otherwise. The variety of those challenges also results from the number and diversity of stakeholders involved in health systems. Taking the patient perspective, simple interaction and safety against harmful recommendations might be the prior concern. For clinicians and experts, on the other hand, what matters is precise and accurate content. Finally, health care providers, insurance companies, and clinics are interested in success rates, study results, and financial benefits of the new systems. In this workshop, we want to go deeper into the discussions started last year and establish a roadmap of possible research topics in Health Recommender Systems.

Our aim is to enhance the results of the first workshop in the following areas:

We invite submissions that may include the following topics, but are not limited to:

The goal of this workshop is to share and discuss research and projects that reach beyond classic recommender techniques and discuss health domain related challenges of recommender systems.


We solicit short research papers (4 pages) and short position papers (2 pages), both in the ACM conference paper style. Participants can decide between a research focused submission, resulting in a workshop presentation, and a project focused submission, resulting in a workshop poster. Papers should be submitted in EasyChair to the submission page.

Submission category research: innovative research ideas, preliminary results or system prototypes

Submission category project: funded research projects, industry and research collaborations or health-care and research collaborations

Submission guidelines: All submitted papers must

Link or demo in attachment are preferred in both cases. All papers will be peer-reviewed, must not be under review in any other conference, workshop or journal (at the time of submission), and must contain novel contributions. Accepted papers will be published according to the ACM RECSYS 2017 WS publication rules. The Workshop proceedings will be submitted to Zenodo and indexed at OpenAIRE. All articles will be open-access distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (

Please use the workshop's EasyChair submission page for submitting your paper.

Important dates


During the workshop, three papers will be presented in a talk:

Eight contributions will be presented as posters, and the organizers hope that a vivid discussion and exchange of ideas will characterise the spirit of this workshop:


09:00-09:15 Introduction
09:15-10:15Keynote (45 min presentation + 15 min discussion)
10:15-10:30Coffee Break
10:30-10:55DIETOS: a recommender system for health profiling and diet management in chronic diseases (15 min presentation + 10 min discussion)
10:55-11:20Recommendation in Persuasive eHealth Systems: an Effective Strategy to Spot Users' Losing Motivation to Exercise (15 min presentation + 10 min discussion)
11:20-11:45 Neighborhood-based Collaborative Filtering for Therapy Decision Support (15 min presentation + 10 min discussion)
11:45-13:00Poster Session
13:00-14:00Lunch Break
14:00-15:30Knowledge Cafe
15:30-16:00Coffee Break
16:00-17:00Fishbowl Panel
17:00-17:30Summary and Closing


Medical diagnosis and treatment as a recommendation problem

The traditional definition of the recommender problem involves estimating a utility function that automatically predicts how much a user will like or prefer an item. In this talk we will explore how to extend that definition to cover important aspects of healthcare such as patient diagnosis and treatment. In this particular context, our goal should be to find methods that estimate a utility function that automatically predicts a patient’s current condition and how much she will benefit from a particular treatment. We will dive into recent uses of AI and ML methods for automatic diagnosis and discuss the importance of taking into account personalization, context, and other variables in the optimization process. On the other hand, we will discuss some of the challenges related to the design of a compelling user interface that favors not only accurate information gathering but also user trust and engagement.

The keynote will be given by Xavier Amatriain. He currently a co-founder and CTO of a Healthcare AI company. Previous to this, he was VP of Engineering at Quora and Research/engineering Director at Netflix, where he led the team building the famous Netflix recommendation algorithms. Before going into leadership positions in industry, Xavier was a research scientist at Telefonica Research and a research director at UCSB. With over 50 publications (and almost 3k citations) in different fields, Xavier is best known for his work on machine learning in general and recommender systems in particular. He has lectured at different universities both in the US and Spain and is frequently invited as a speaker at conferences and companies. Xavier has been closely involved with the ACM Recsys conference since its first edition.


Workshop Chairs

Program Committee



Please visit the RecSys 2017 website for more information about the location:

ACM VISA Support Letters

The Association for Computing Machinery does not issue formal invitation letters for visas to attend ACM sponsored conferences. We can however issue a visa support letter. For Visa support letters, please send all requests to the Office of SIG Services with the following information: Name and mailing address as it appears on your passport. The name of the conference you wish to attend. Your Registration Confirmation Number. If you are the author of any papers accepted for the conference, please provide the title. A valid fax number and current mailing address. Please see the ACM Visa Support Letters web page for updates to this policy.


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

Previous Workshops on Healthrecommender Systems

All papers of the 2016 Workshop in Health Recommender Systems can be found here.