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Information and Recommender Systems by Elsa Negre

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1A Few Important Details Before We Begin

Savoir pour prévoir, afin de pouvoir (Know in order to predict, and thus to act)Auguste Comte, Course of Positive Philosophy, 1830

In computer science, the concept of information can have multiple meanings. However, most people agree that information is an item of knowledge that may be conserved, processed or communicated, and is thus linked to notions of communication, data, knowledge, meaning, representation, etc.

In this chapter, we aim to remove the ambiguities surrounding the terms “information system”, “decision support system” and “recommender system”, clearly establishing the relative positions of these different systems.

1.1. Information systems

For sustainable development, organizations need to respond to two key challenges: (i) management of an increasingly large quantity of data (both internal and external), enabling increasingly easy access, and (ii) transformation of this quantity of data into information that is useful for efficient accomplishment of their actions, while adapting to a continuously evolving environment.

An information system is an organized set of hardware, software, human resources, data, procedures, etc., which are used to collect, regroup, categorize, process and disseminate information in a given environment [DEC 92]. The general aim of an information system is thus to support an organization in achieving its objectives (essentially of a strategic nature).

Information systems are traditionally grouped ...

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