Creating a user friendly ingredient browser for retrieving recipes

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About Creating a user friendly ingredient browser for retrieving recipes

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Creating a user friendly ingredient browser for retrieving recipes

Philips Research, User Experiences in collaboration with Wageningen UR, Agrotechnology and Food Sciences group Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands and/or Wageningen, the Netherlands

     dr. ir. Gijs Geleijnse  
     +31 40  27 47875
     Nicole Koenderink, MSc. MTD. 
     +31 317 48 02 35  


Philips Research and Wageningen Universiteit en Researchcentrum (WUR) have a joint opening for a student internship or graduation project.

In an on-going research project, we are currently working on a system that assists the user in selecting healthy and tasty recipes. This system should not only suggest personalized, healthy and varied meals, but should also be easy to experience and enjoyable to use.

User studies have shown that consumers have difficulties in formulating appropriate search terms, when searching for a recipe. Often, they simply miss the inspiration to formulate a search query that matches their desire for food. A solution to this problem is to offer the user a browsable ingredient hierarchy. This hierarchy may contain general concepts such as vegetables and meat. When the user selects one of these concepts, (s)he gets access to a list of more specific concepts (e.g. pork, beef) or ingredients (e.g. tomato, asparagus). By navigating through these concepts, the user may also be inspired by the ingredients that he or she encounters.

In the food domain, several structured data sources that describe ingredients and their relations are available. Examples of such structured sources are the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) AGROVOC thesaurus, United States National Agricultural Library (NAL) Agricultural thesaurus and WordNet. However, research shows that consumers do not recognize all relations expressed in these thesauri. For example, it is not well understood that the cauliflower can be found among the flower bud vegetables.

Apart from structured knowledge on ingredients, knowledge on ingredients and their relations can be derived from the recipes. For example, one can observe that penne rigate and spaghetti are related as they co-occur with the same ingredients.


The student project aims to create a user friendly ingredient browser, where ingredients are interlinked using relations derived from both structured and unstructured sources. The ingredient browser helps the consumer in choosing ingredients to select a recipe. It is important that the links between the ingredients are recognizable for the consumer. Therefore, an evaluation of the browser with end users is part of the project.

We are looking for computer science or artificial intelligence students with an interest in knowledge representation, information systems and/or human-computer interaction. Additionally, some interest and experience in cooking is an advantage.

Based on the background and interests of the student, a project within the domain of recipe recommendation can jointly be formulated.


We are looking for university Master students, who want to do their internship or graduation project at Philips Research. The student needs good programming skills for realizing the project and good technical writing skills for reporting. Creativity, commitment, a proactive attitude and own initiatives are important.

Students will work under guidelines applying at Philips Research in Eindhoven on a temporary contract. For students living and studying in the Netherlands, allowance is determined at 330 euro per month for an internship and 420 euro per month for a graduation project. Students do not get a contribution in travel costs. For students from abroad, other rules apply.

For more information about the project, please contact Gijs Geleijnse;; 040 – 27 47875.