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Axel Springer National Media & Tech and Froomle team up in exchange for better News Personalization

A few weeks ago, our Co-Founder and CTO Professor Bart Goethals, and Head of Product & Customer Success Jonas Boonen, were invited to the beautiful new headquarters of Axel Springer in Berlin for a 3 days deep dive into News Personalisation during which we shared our approach on industrialized news recommender systems and compared it with the in-house approach Axel Springer is pursuing.

First, our team had the opportunity to learn about Axel Springer’s technology and its current challenges. The Axel Springer Curation Team gave us a deep dive into their recommender system, their model structure, editorial rules, learnings and challenges. Similarly, we presented our approach for behavioural Recommender Systems applied to the news industry covering the different components and algorithms of the Froomle platform.

Based on the sharing sessions, the Froomle team then prepared and shared actionable recommendations for Axel Springer to improve their current setup. Among others, we shared how we leverage our advanced A/B testing setup, live data and shadow deployments to prioritize online experiments over offline validation and how this combined with interpretable model components allows for easier debugging and improvements and the teams discussed together how Axel Springer's Curation Team could benefit from a similar approach. In addition to that, the Froomle team provided much more algorithmic insights into collaborative filtering, multi-armed bandits, reinforcement learning, and how to cope with popularity bias. Together we also discussed advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to deal with popularity bias.

Finally, these recommendations were further detailed to ensure alignment and a clear course of action towards an improved personalisation approach.

Throughout the workshop, we had the chance to work with their amazing team including Data Scientists, Business Analysts, Software engineers, and Product Owner, and we want to extend a big thank you for their collaboration throughout the workshop.

We are looking forward to our continued collaboration over the next few months with follow-up workshops to further brainstorm on how to bring the best user experience to their visitors and subscribers.

Interested in our strategic services? Take a look at our Strategic Plan

Photo credits: dpa.

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