Maria Cleci Martins, Rosina Weber


The search for an online product that matches e-shoppers’ needs and preferences can be frustrating and time-consuming. Browsing large lists arranged in tree-like structures demands focused attention from e-shoppers. Keyword search often results in either too many useless items (low precision) or few or none useful ones (low recall). This can cause potential buyers to seek another seller or choose to go in person to a store. This paper introduces the SPOT (Stated Preference Ontology Targeted) methodology to model e-shoppers’ decision-making processes and use them to refine a search and show products and services that meet their preferences. SPOT combines probabilistic theory on discrete choices, the theory of stated preferences, and knowledge modeling (i.e. ontologies). The probabilistic theory on discrete choices coupled with e-shoppers’ stated preferences data allow us to unveil parameters e-shoppers would employ to reach a decision of choice related to a given product or service. Those parameters are used to rebuild the decision process and evaluate alternatives to select candidate products that are more likely to match e-shoppers’ choices. We use a synthetic example to demonstrate how our approach distinguishes from currently used methods for e-commerce.


  1. Ardissono, L. & Godoy, A. 2000. Tailoring the Interaction with Users in Web Stores. User Modeling and UserAdapted Interaction, 10: 251-303.
  2. Ben-Akiva, M. & Lerman, R. 1985. Discrete Choice Analysis. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA.
  3. Burke, R. 2000. Knowledge-Based Recommender Systems. In A. Kent (ed.), Encyclopedia of Library and Information Systems, 69, 32. Marcel Dekker. New York:
  4. Burke, R. 2002. Hybrid Recommender Systems: Survey and Experiments. User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction, 12(4): 331-370.
  5. Cotter, P. & Smyth, B. 2000. PTV: Intelligent Personalised TV Guides. Proceedings of Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 957-964. AAAI Press/ The MIT Press.
  6. De Carvalho, M. 1998. A Comparison of Neural Networks and Econometric Discrete Choice Models in Transport. Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, UK. (PhD-thesis)
  7. Domingue, J., Martins, M., Tan, J., Stutt, A., Pertusson, H. 2002. Alice: Assiting Online Shoppers through Ontologies and Novel Interface Metaphors. (In Gómez-Pérez, A. & Benjamins, V. R. (eds.) Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management. Ontologies and the Semantic Web. LNCS, 2473. Berlin: Springer. p. 335-351.)
  8. Fowkes, T. & Shinghal, N. 2002. The Leeds Adaptive Stated Preference Methodology. (In Danielis, R. (ed.) Freight Transport Demand and Stated Preference Experiments, F. Angeli, Milan.)
  9. Gruber, T. R. 1993. A Translation Approach to Portable Ontology Specifications. Knowledge Acquisition, 5(2): 199-220.
  10. Kocur, G., Adler, T., Hyman, W. & Aunet, B. 1982. Guide to Forecasting Travel Demand with Direct Utility Assessment. Report No. UMTA-NH-11-0001-82, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, US Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.
  11. Kozinets, R. V. 1999. E-Tribalized Marketing: the Strategic Implications of Virtual Communities of Consumption. European Management Journal, 17 (3): 252-264.
  12. Luce, R. D. 1959. Individual Choice Behavior. New York. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  13. Louviere, J. J. 1988. Analyzing Decision Making: Metric Conjoint Analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
  14. McGinty, L. & Smyth, B. 2002. Comparison-Based Recommendation. (In Craw, S. and Preece, A. (eds.) Advanced in Case-Based Reasoning. LNAI, 2416. Berlin, Springer. p. 575-589.)
  15. Pearmain, D. & Kroes, E. 1990. Stated Preference Techniques: a Guide to Practice. Steer Davies & Gleave, UK.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Cleci Martins M. and Weber R. (2005). MODELING PREFERENCES ONLINE . In Proceedings of the First International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: WEBIST, ISBN 972-8865-20-1, pages 255-262. DOI: 10.5220/0001230702550262

in Bibtex Style

author={Maria Cleci Martins and Rosina Weber},
booktitle={Proceedings of the First International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: WEBIST,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the First International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: WEBIST,
SN - 972-8865-20-1
AU - Cleci Martins M.
AU - Weber R.
PY - 2005
SP - 255
EP - 262
DO - 10.5220/0001230702550262