An Intelligent Recommender System for Neighbourhoods
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Finding a new home is a complex process involving many factors, and therefore a typical example of a multi-criteria decision-making problem. However, only a few of these factors are considered in current property websites (e.g. price range, property type, or number of bedrooms). In particular, residential preferences relating to the surrounding environment are often not taken into account, but play an important role in the decision-making process of finding an area to live in (e.g. sense of safety, proximity to workplace, or access to services). In recent years, many approaches have been developed in order to overcome this issue by providing access to neighbourhood information, but they suffer from several limitations. As part of this research, an intelligent recommender system for neighbourhoods was developed, which addresses these shortcomings. This paper investigates how a service similar to the one developed can help people in the property selection process. A user study has shown that a recommender system for neighbourhoods presents a good starting point for people to find an area to live in, but is not a substitute for traditional methods used when moving.