Recommender Systems (in brief)

One of the artificial intelligence technologies that in relevance to LIS discipline is ‘Recommender System’ which is ‘An information filtering technology.’ usually through using different methods as following:

*Content-based systems which are ‘systems recommending items similar to items a user liked in the past'(Krasnoshchok, 2013), in other words, it recommends items by its features.

According to Krasnoshchok the advantages to using this method are:
-It can provide a recommendation as soon as it has information of items available.
– It does not need any user data to provide a recommendation.

On the other hand, the disadvantages can be that:
-Items and attributes must be machine-recognisable.
-The absence of personal recommendations.
-No serendipitous items.

* Collaborative filtering systems which ‘recommend items based on similarity measures between users and/or items'(Leskovec, Rajaraman, and Ullman, JD, 2014). It can be user-based collaborative filtering or item-based collaborative filtering.

According to Krasnoshchok the advantages to using this method are:
– CF methods utilise only ratings and do not require any additional information about users or items.
-These systems can make an assessment of quality, style or viewpoint by consideration of other people’s experience.
-CF systems can produce personalised recommendations because they consider other people’s experience and recommendations are based on that experience.
-CF recommender systems can suggest serendipitous items by observing similar-minded people’s behaviour.

While the disadvantages are:
– The system cannot provide recommendations if ratings weren’t available.
– The accuracy of the recommendations would be poor when there is few data about users’ ratings. Which this defined as ‘Cold-Start problem’.
– Many of existing CF algorithms work slowly on a huge amount of data, which was the reason to create several techniques such as clustering and parallelization to overcome the problem.

There are also more methods of recommender systems namely: personalised learning to rank, demographic, social recommendation, and hybrid.

Examples of Recommender Systems Libary:

  • Mendeley
  • BookPsychic
  • LibRec
  • MyMediaLite

Finally, this was a brief information of recommender systems which is a way to help us saves time by discovering items that we may not find easily.


*Krasnoshchok, O. (2013) Content-based Filtering Recommender systems – benefits and disadvantages – Recommender systems / recommendation engines explained. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2016).
*Krasnoshchok, O. (2013) Collaborative Filtering Recommender systems – benefits and disadvantages – Recommender systems / recommendation engines explained. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2016).
*Leskovec, J., Rajaraman, A., Labs, M. and Ullman, J.D. (2016) Mining of massive Datasets. Available at: (Accessed: 4 December 2016).

Internet of Things (IOT) in brief

To begin with, what does it mean?
Internet of Things (IoT) is “A dynamic global network infrastructure with self-configuring capabilities based on standard and interoperable communication protocols where physical and virtual “things” have identities, physical attributes, and virtual personalities and use intelligent interfaces, and are seamlessly integrated into the information network.” (Vermesan and Friess, 2013).

In other words, the internet of things is a way of connecting all the things in our lives to the Internet or to each other to send and receive data to perform specific functions through the network.
You may think what do I mean by ‘things’ well; literally, it can be anything such as clothing, furniture, watches, devices, humans, etc.

How does it work?
In order to make those things smart and connect it to the internet, we need to give it a unique identity, connect it to the internet via WiFi, and the most important thing is to attach things with sensors technology because it is the way to transmit a wide verity of data like locations and temperature.

Some advantages of using IoT:
-connect with things which give us the opportunity to know anything about everything around us.
-monitor things, for example, using a gadget to observe or health
-Search things for example if car keys are tagged it would easy to find it by asking Google.

Figure 1. “Knowledge Hierarchy” in the context of IoT 

Referring to knowledge hierarchy, many believe that using the internet of things will help us reach wisdom as following where ‘The lower layer refers to large amount of data produced by the IoT resources and devices. The layer above helps create structured and machine-readable information from the raw data of various forms to enhance interoperability. However, what is required by humans and high-level applications and services often is not the information, but high-level abstractions and perceptions that provide human and machine-understandable meanings and insights of the underlying data. The high-level abstractions and perceptions then can be transformed to actionable intelligence (wisdom) with domain and background knowledge to exploit the full potential of IoT and create end-to-end solutions.’ (Barnaghi et al., 2012).

Finally, the internet of things seems perfect, but unfortunately, security is a rising concern in IoT which need to be working on to reach a better level of security.

Barnaghi, P., Wang, W., Henson, C. and Taylor, K. (2012) ‘Semantics for the Internet of things’, International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems, 8(1), pp. 1–21. doi: 10.4018/jswis.2012010101.

Vermesan, O. and Friess, P. (eds.) (2013) Internet of things: Converging technologies for smart environments and integrated ecosystems. Aalborg: River Publishers.


How the Internet works


The internet is an essential service that many people use. It is used for many purposes such as learning, communication and entertainment. This essay will describe the hidden journey when using the internet.

For a start, there must be a client and a server which are connected by a modem or/and a router, and most importantly a unique address that every device has which is a number from 0-225 and is known as an IP address*.


The diagram shows clients communication with a server via the Internet

As soon as someone clicks on a hyperlink or types a URL* address in a web browser, a flow of information will start the journey. First, it is divided and packed into several limited sizes of packets. Then, it is labelled by the IP with both sender and receiver addresses and a proxy*, also the type of the information inside the packet. After that, the packets are launched into a LAN*, which is connecting all devices such as computers and printers inside a building for information exchange. Then, each packet is directed into the right path by the router after it reads the address. The role of the proxy is to read what is inside each packet to decide whether the address is acceptable to go to the internet or not. In the next step, another router picks up the packets and directs it into an exact path. Now, the packages are ready to enter the internet, which is a connection of many routers and paths, and each router represents a LAN, and they are all connected via satellite, Ethernet or WIFI. Having been connected, routers inside the internet keep directing the packets until they reach their destination when finally the link or the web page that was requested will open, and this journey usually takes a few seconds.

To sum up, the internet is a vast world that does not have an end. The previous process is just a brief journey of what is happening inside.


*IP Adress: ‘Internet Protocol Address (or IP Address) is an unique address that computing devices such as personal computers, tablets, and smartphones use to identify itself and communicate with other devices in the IP network’ (Internet 1).


The diagram shows many IP addresses where each number represent a device

*URL: ‘Uniform Resource Locator: a protocol for specifying addresses on the Internet’ (Internet 2).


URL components

*Proxy: ‘is a server (a computer system or an application) that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients seeking resources from other servers’ (Internet 3).

*LAN: ‘A Local-Area Network is a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most often, a LAN is confined to a single room, building or group of buildings’ (Internet 4).


Description of a LAN 



The INTERNET (how it works) Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 1: What is My IP Address? Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 2: URL definition Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 3: Proxy server Available at: (Accessed: 6 October 2016).

Internet 4: LAN – local-area network Available at:  (Accessed: 6 October 2016).