The 4th Workshop on Health Recommender Systems co-located with ACM RecSys 2019

The 4th Workshop on Health Recommender Systems co-located with ACM RecSys 2019

We are pleased to announce the Workshop on Health Recommender Systems co-located with the 13th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, 20th September 2019, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Recommendations are becoming evermore important in health settings with the aim being to assist people live healthier lives. Three previous workshops on Health Recommender Systems (HRS) have incorporated diverse research fields and problems in which recommender systems can improve our awareness, understanding and behaviour regarding our own, and the general public's 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 legally sound and, as such, today, they often involve a human in the loop to make sure the recommendations are appropriate. To make the recommender infallible, complex domain-specific user models need to be created, which creates privacy issues. While trust in a recommendation needs to be explicitly earned through, for example, transparency, explanations and empowerment, other systems might want to persuade users into taking beneficial actions that would not be willingly chosen otherwise. Multiple and diverse stakeholders in health systems produce further challenges. Taking the patient's perspective, simple interaction and safety against harmful recommendations might be the prioritized concern. For clinicians and experts, on the other hand, what matters is precise and accurate content. Healthcare and insurance providers and clinics all have other priorities. This workshop will deepen the discussions started at the three prior workshops and will work towards further development of the research topics in Health Recommender Systems.

Our aim is to enhance the results of the first two workshops 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 (Up to 6 pages) and short position papers (2 pages), both in the ACM conference paper style. Participants can decide between a research focused submission and a project focused submission. A selection of best papers will be presented in a flash talk. Further papers will be presented in the form of a 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 2019 WS publication rules.

Important dates


Keynote: Carl Anderson

Carl Anderson is the Director, Data Science at WW, the new Weight Watchers, in New York. His team builds predictive models and data products such as churn models, social network recommenders, search improvements, and food recommenders, all to inspire healthy habits among our millions of members around the world, as well as to positively impact their families and their communities. Passionate about all thing data, he is the author of the 2015 O'Reilly book "Creating a Data-Driven Organization".

Our purpose at WW (the new Weight Watchers) is to “inspire healthy habits for real life. For people, families, communities, the world—for everyone.” For 56 years, we’ve been a leader in weight loss. Now, however, our mission is bigger and broader: drive health and wellness, making healthy habits accessible to all, not just a few.
The question is, how do you deliver on that? Humans are notoriously fickle, stubborn, and irrational. They don’t always do what is in their best interests. Moreover, behavioral change and habit forming is genuinely hard. It is all too easy to skip going to the gym, to resist that extra cookie, or to take time for yourself and reduce stress.
In this session, we’ll discuss what’s involved in behavioral change and nudges, and how the WW data science team are working on personalized experiences, various recommenders, and other data products at scale to aid our members’ success.


09.00-10.30 Opening and keynote: "Inspiring healthy habits: data science at WW" Presentation

10.30-11.00 Coffee

11.00-11.30 Collection of topics for the afternoon

11.30-12.30 Long paper presentations (15 min. presentation and 5 min. discussion)

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.30 Short paper presentations (7 min. presentation and 3 min. discussion)

14.30-15.30 Group work on collected topics

15.30-16.00 Coffee

16.00-17.00 Group results discussion and evaluation

17.00-17.30 Wrap up

List of accepted papers


All papers of the 2019 Workshop in Health Recommender Systems can be found here.


Workshop Chairs

Program Committee



Please visit the RecSys 2019 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:

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:

UMUAI Special Issue

We are organizing a UMUAI Special Issue on Recommender Systems for Health and Wellbeing (Journal Impact Factor: 2.9). Have a look! Abstract deadline: November 15, 2019.

Previous Workshops on Healthrecommender Systems

All papers of the 2018 Workshop in Health Recommender Systems can be found here.

All papers of the 2017 Workshop in Health Recommender Systems can be found here.

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