Increasing users' positive interactions, such as purchases or clicks, is an important objective of recommender systems. Recommenders typically aim to select items that users will interact with. If the recommended items are purchased, an increase in sales is expected. However, the items could have been purchased even without recommendation. Thus, we want to recommend items that results in purchases caused by recommendation. This can be formulated as a ranking problem in terms of the causal effect. Despite its importance, this problem has not been well explored in the related research. It is challenging because the ground truth of causal effect is unobservable, and estimating the causal effect is prone to the bias arising from currently deployed recommenders. This paper proposes an unbiased learning framework for the causal effect of recommendation. Based on the inverse propensity scoring technique, the proposed framework first constructs unbiased estimators for ranking metrics. Then, it conducts empirical risk minimization on the estimators with propensity capping, which reduces variance under finite training samples. Based on the framework, we develop an unbiased learning method for the causal effect extension of a ranking metric. We theoretically analyze the unbiasedness of the proposed method and empirically demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms other biased learning methods in various settings.
The linear submodular bandit problem was proposed to simultaneously address diversified retrieval and online learning in a recommender system. If there is no uncertainty, this problem is equivalent to a submodular maximization problem under a cardinality constraint. However, in some situations, recommendation lists should satisfy additional constraints such as budget constraints, other than a cardinality constraint. Thus, motivated by diversified retrieval considering budget constraints, we introduce a submodular bandit problem under the intersection of $l$ knapsacks and a $k$-system constraint. Here $k$-system constraints form a very general class of constraints including cardinality constraints and the intersection of $k$ matroid constraints. To solve this problem, we propose a non-greedy algorithm that adaptively focuses on a standard or modified upper-confidence bound. We provide a high-probability upper bound of an approximation regret, where the approximation ratio matches that of a fast offline algorithm. Moreover, we perform experiments under various combinations of constraints using a synthetic and two real-world datasets and demonstrate that our proposed methods outperform the existing baselines.