Recommendations in Location-based Social Networks: A Survey
GeoInformatica | , Vol 19(3): pp. 525-565
Recent advances in position localization techniques have fundamentally enhanced social networking services, allowing users to share their locations and location-related content, such as geo-tagged photos and notes. We refer to these social networks as location-based social networks (LBSNs). Location data both bridges the gap between the physical and digital worlds and enables a deeper understanding of user preferences and behavior. This addition of vast geospatial datasets has stimulated research into novel recommender systems that seek to facilitate users’ travels and social interactions. In this paper, we offer a systematic review of this research, summarizing the contributions of individual efforts and exploring their relations. We discuss the new properties and challenges that location brings to recommendation systems for LBSNs. We present a comprehensive survey of recommender systems for LBSNs, analyzing 1) the data source used, 2) the methodology employed to generate a recommendation, and 3) the objective of the recommendation. We propose three taxonomies that partition the recommender systems according to the properties listed above. First, we categorize the recommender systems by the objective of the recommendation, which can include locations, users, activities, or social media.Second, we categorize the recommender systems by the methodologies employed, including content-based, link analysis-based, and collaborative filtering-based methodologies. Third, we categorize the systems by the data sources used, including user profiles, user online histories, and user location histories. For each category, we summarize the goals and contributions of each system and highlight one representative research effort. Further, we provide comparative analysis of the recommendation systems within each category. Finally, we discuss methods of evaluation for these recommender systems and point out promising research topics for future work. This article presents a panorama of the recommendation systems in location-based social networks with a balanced depth, facilitating research into this important research theme.