Top 10 Lessons Learned Developing, Deploying, and Operating Real-World Recommender Systems

by Francisco Martin (Founder/CEO Strands, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.)

The number of online services providing users with real-time recommendations has increased exponentially over the last few years. Recommender Systems that were originally only accessible to a limited number of high-tech companies are now widely available through a growing number of both technical choices and vendors. The acceptance however, of automatically delivered recommendations by users depends on numerous factors that go far beyond the algorithms that constitute the major focus of researchers. Dr. Martin will share a number of lessons learned over the last ten years creating and operating recommender systems in a multitude of domains, from digital music to fitness plans through personal finance management, and in a multitude of business settings, from lightweight integrations to highly-coupled integrations within secure bank environments.

About The Speaker

Francisco Martin is a scientific entrepreneur who serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Strands, Inc. (“Strands”) and its subsidiaries in Spain and Finland. Strands develops recommendation and personalization technologies to help people discover new things. The Strands recommendation engine works by “learning” people’s tastes and how their preferences evolve over time. Strands’ recommendation technology is used to generate real-time recommendations or preference predictions in a wide variety of different areas. Since Dr. Martin founded Strands in October 2003, he has grown the company to over 100 employees, at locations throughout the United States and Europe. Operating from the company’s headquarters in Corvallis, Oregon, Dr. Martin has raised $55M in funding. The company also has filed 24 U.S. patent applications covering its groundbreaking technologies, and Dr. Martin is a named inventor on 13 of these. Strands was named the 2007 Orange Innovation Contest Winner, the Nokia Mobile Rules! 08 Competition Winner, and the 2008 BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge Best in Show Grand Prize Winner.

Dr. Martin holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science with highest honors from Technical University of Catalonia. He developed his scientific career at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute of the Spanish National Research Council. He has been a visiting researcher at the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom and the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at Oregon State University (OSU).