Mitigating Online Product Rating Biases Through the Discovery of Optimistic, Pessimistic, and Realistic Reviewers

Sunghoon Lim, Conrad S. Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The authors of this work present a model that reduces product rating biases that are a result of varying degrees of customers' optimism/pessimism. Recently, large-scale customer reviews and numerical product ratings have served as substantial criteria for new customers who make their purchasing decisions through electronic word-of-mouth. However, due to differences among reviewers' rating criteria, customer ratings are often biased. For example, a three-star rating can be considered low for an optimistic reviewer. On the other hand, the same three-star rating can be considered high for a pessimistic reviewer. Many existing studies of online customer reviews overlook the significance of reviewers' rating histories and tendencies. Considering reviewers' rating histories and tendencies is significant for identifying unbiased customer ratings and true product quality, because each reviewer has different criteria for buying and rating products. The proposed customer rating analysis model adjusts product ratings in order to provide customers with more objective and accurate feedback. The authors propose an unsupervised model aimed at mitigating customer ratings based on rating histories and tendencies, instead of human-labeled training data. A case study involving real-world customer rating data from an electronic commerce company is used to validate the method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111409
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design - Transactions of the ASME
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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