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MealRec+: A Meal Recommendation Dataset with Meal-Course Affiliation for Personalized and Healthier Meal Recommendations

Core Concepts
The core message of this article is to introduce a new meal recommendation dataset called MealRec+ that includes meal-course affiliation and healthiness information, in order to enable research on cooperative interaction learning methods for personalized and healthier meal recommendations.
The article introduces a new meal recommendation dataset called MealRec+ that addresses the lack of publicly available datasets containing both meal-course affiliation and user-course/user-meal interaction data. The key highlights are: The dataset is constructed by simulating user dining sessions based on user-course interaction data, and then deriving meal-course affiliation and user-meal interactions. Collaboration-based interaction mining is used to expand the user-meal interaction data. Two widely used nutritional standards (FSA and WHO) are used to calculate the healthiness scores of meals in the dataset. Analysis of the dataset shows that users have different preferences for healthiness at the course-level and meal-level, and users tend to prefer less healthy meals. Several baseline models are experimented with, including separate interaction learning methods (CFR, CourseLevel, MealLevel, BGCN) and cooperative interaction learning methods (DAM, HyperMBR, CrossCBR). The results demonstrate that cooperating the two levels of interaction in appropriate ways can effectively improve the personalization performance of meal recommendations. In response to the less healthy recommendation phenomenon found in the experiments, potential methods to enhance the healthiness of meal recommendations are explored. The dataset and the insights gained from the experiments provide valuable resources and directions for advancing research on personalized and healthier meal recommender systems, which aligns with the principle of AI for good.
The MealRec+ dataset contains 7,280 courses and 3,817 meals in the high-density version (MealRec+H), and 10,589 courses and 3,578 meals in the low-density version (MealRec+L). The user-course interaction density is 1.30% in MealRec+H and 0.88% in MealRec+L. The user-meal interaction density is 0.77% in MealRec+H and 0.17% in MealRec+L.
"Meal recommendation, as a typical health-related recommendation task, contains complex relationships between users, courses, and meals. Among them, meal-course affiliation associates user-meal and user-course interactions." "An extensive literature review demonstrates a lack of publicly available meal recommendation datasets with meal-course affiliation. This data gap leads to existing meal recommendation research being limited to separate interaction learning on different levels of interaction."

Key Insights Distilled From

by Ming Li,Lin ... at 04-09-2024

Deeper Inquiries

How can the simulation method used to construct the MealRec+ dataset be further improved or extended to capture more realistic user dining behaviors

The simulation method used to construct the MealRec+ dataset can be further improved or extended by incorporating more dynamic and personalized user behaviors. One way to achieve this is by implementing reinforcement learning techniques to simulate user decision-making processes based on feedback and rewards. By modeling user preferences and behaviors in a more adaptive and responsive manner, the simulation can better capture the nuances of real-world dining experiences. Additionally, integrating natural language processing (NLP) models to analyze user reviews, comments, and feedback can provide valuable insights into user preferences and dining habits, leading to more realistic simulations.

What other factors beyond user preferences and healthiness, such as cultural, social, or economic factors, could be incorporated into meal recommendation models to provide more comprehensive and personalized recommendations

Incorporating cultural, social, and economic factors into meal recommendation models can significantly enhance the personalization and relevance of recommendations. Cultural factors such as dietary restrictions, food preferences, and traditional cuisines can play a crucial role in shaping user choices. Social factors like dining habits, social gatherings, and special occasions can also influence meal preferences. Economic factors such as budget constraints, affordability, and value for money can impact the types of meals users are inclined to choose. By integrating these factors into the recommendation algorithms, the models can offer more comprehensive and tailored suggestions that resonate with users on a deeper level.

Given the tendency of users to prefer less healthy meals, how can meal recommendation systems be designed to proactively nudge users towards healthier choices without compromising personalization and user satisfaction

To nudge users towards healthier choices while maintaining personalization and user satisfaction, meal recommendation systems can implement several strategies: Personalized Health Goals: Allow users to set personalized health goals and preferences, such as calorie intake, dietary restrictions, or nutritional requirements. The system can then recommend meals that align with these goals, nudging users towards healthier options. Nutritional Education: Provide users with nutritional information and health benefits of different meal choices. By educating users about the impact of their food choices on their health, they may be more inclined to opt for healthier options. Smart Defaults: Implement smart defaults that prioritize healthier meal options by default. Users can always choose to customize their preferences, but nudging them towards healthier choices as the default setting can encourage better eating habits. Incentivization: Reward users for choosing healthier meal options through loyalty programs, discounts, or rewards. Positive reinforcement can motivate users to make healthier choices. Behavioral Prompts: Use behavioral prompts and reminders to encourage users to make healthier choices, such as suggesting a salad instead of fries or a fruit smoothie instead of a sugary drink. These gentle nudges can influence decision-making without being intrusive.