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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

How Fraudster Detection Contributes to Robust Recommendation

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Nov 22, 2022
Yuni Lai, Kai Zhou

The adversarial robustness of recommendation systems under node injection attacks has received considerable research attention. Recently, a robust recommendation system GraphRfi was proposed, and it was shown that GraphRfi could successfully mitigate the effects of injected fake users in the system. Unfortunately, we demonstrate that GraphRfi is still vulnerable to attacks due to the supervised nature of its fraudster detection component. Specifically, we propose a new attack metaC against GraphRfi, and further analyze why GraphRfi fails under such an attack. Based on the insights we obtained from the vulnerability analysis, we build a new robust recommendation system PDR by re-designing the fraudster detection component. Comprehensive experiments show that our defense approach outperforms other benchmark methods under attacks. Overall, our research demonstrates an effective framework of integrating fraudster detection into recommendation to achieve adversarial robustness.


Correlative Preference Transfer with Hierarchical Hypergraph Network for Multi-Domain Recommendation

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Nov 21, 2022
Zixuan Xu, Penghui Wei, Shaoguo Liu, Liang Wang, Bo Zheng

Advanced recommender systems usually involve multiple domains (scenarios or categories) for various marketing strategies, and users interact with them to satisfy their diverse demands. The goal of multi-domain recommendation is to improve the recommendation performance of all domains simultaneously. Conventional graph neural network based methods usually deal with each domain separately, or train a shared model for serving all domains. The former fails to leverage users' cross-domain behaviors, making the behavior sparseness issue a great obstacle. The latter learns shared user representation with respect to all domains, which neglects users' domain-specific preferences. These shortcomings greatly limit their performance in multi-domain recommendation. To tackle the limitations, an appropriate way is to learn from multi-domain user feedbacks and obtain separate user representations to characterize their domain-specific preferences. In this paper we propose $\mathsf{H^3Trans}$, a hierarchical hypergraph network based correlative preference transfer framework for multi-domain recommendation. $\mathsf{H^3Trans}$ represents multi-domain feedbacks into a unified graph to help preference transfer via taking full advantage of users' multi-domain behaviors. We incorporate two hyperedge-based modules, namely dynamic item transfer module (Hyper-I) and adaptive user aggregation module (Hyper-U). Hyper-I extracts correlative information from multi-domain user-item feedbacks for eliminating domain discrepancy of item representations. Hyper-U aggregates users' scattered preferences in multiple domains and further exploits the high-order (not only pair-wise) connections among them to learn user representations. Experimental results on both public datasets and large-scale production datasets verify the superiority of $\mathsf{H^3Trans}$ for multi-domain recommendation.

* Work in progress 

Equivariant Contrastive Learning for Sequential Recommendation

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Nov 18, 2022
Peilin Zhou, Jingqi Gao, Yueqi Xie, Qichen Ye, Yining Hua, Sunghun Kim

Contrastive learning (CL) benefits the training of sequential recommendation models with informative self-supervision signals. Existing solutions apply general sequential data augmentation strategies to generate positive pairs and encourage their representations to be invariant. However, due to the inherent properties of user behavior sequences, some augmentation strategies, such as item substitution, can lead to changes in user intent. Learning indiscriminately invariant representations for all augmentation strategies might be sub-optimal. Therefore, we propose Equivariant Contrastive Learning for Sequential Recommendation (ECL-SR), which endows SR models with great discriminative power, making the learned user behavior representations sensitive to invasive augmentations (e.g., item substitution) and insensitive to mild augmentations (e.g., feature-level dropout masking). In detail, we use the conditional discriminator to capture differences in behavior due to item substitution, which encourages the user behavior encoder to be equivariant to invasive augmentations. Comprehensive experiments on four benchmark datasets show that the proposed ECL-SR framework achieves competitive performance compared to state-of-the-art SR models. The source code will be released.

* 12 pages, 6 figures 

Talent Recommendation on LinkedIn User Profiles

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Nov 14, 2022
Yuzhou Peng

With the increasing amount of information on the Internet, recommender systems are becoming increasingly crucial in supporting people to find and explore relevant content. This is also true in the online recruitment space, with websites such as LinkedIn,, and all using recommender systems. In online recruitment, it can often be challenging for companies to find suitable candidates with appropriate skills because of the huge volume of user profiles available. Identifying users which satisfy a range of different employer needs is also a difficult task. Thus, effective matching of user-profiles and jobs is becoming crucial for companies. This research project applies a wide range of recommendation techniques to the task of user profile recommendation. Extensive experiments are conducted on a large-scale real-world LinkedIn dataset to evaluate their performance, with the aim of identifying the most suitable approach in this particular recommendation scenario.

* 68 pages 

Mitigating Frequency Bias in Next-Basket Recommendation via Deconfounders

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Nov 16, 2022
Xiaohan Li, Zheng Liu, Luyi Ma, Kaushiki Nag, Stephen Guo, Philip Yu, Kannan Achan

Recent studies on Next-basket Recommendation (NBR) have achieved much progress by leveraging Personalized Item Frequency (PIF) as one of the main features, which measures the frequency of the user's interactions with the item. However, taking the PIF as an explicit feature incurs bias towards frequent items. Items that a user purchases frequently are assigned higher weights in the PIF-based recommender system and appear more frequently in the personalized recommendation list. As a result, the system will lose the fairness and balance between items that the user frequently purchases and items that the user never purchases. We refer to this systematic bias on personalized recommendation lists as frequency bias, which narrows users' browsing scope and reduces the system utility. We adopt causal inference theory to address this issue. Considering the influence of historical purchases on users' future interests, the user and item representations can be viewed as unobserved confounders in the causal diagram. In this paper, we propose a deconfounder model named FENDER (Frequency-aware Deconfounder for Next-basket Recommendation) to mitigate the frequency bias. With the deconfounder theory and the causal diagram we propose, FENDER decomposes PIF with a neural tensor layer to obtain substitute confounders for users and items. Then, FENDER performs unbiased recommendations considering the effect of these substitute confounders. Experimental results demonstrate that FENDER has derived diverse and fair results compared to ten baseline models on three datasets while achieving competitive performance. Further experiments illustrate how FENDER balances users' historical purchases and potential interests.

* IEEE Bigdata 2022 

FedRule: Federated Rule Recommendation System with Graph Neural Networks

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Nov 13, 2022
Yuhang Yao, Mohammad Mahdi Kamani, Zhongwei Cheng, Lin Chen, Carlee Joe-Wong, Tianqiang Liu

Much of the value that IoT (Internet-of-Things) devices bring to ``smart'' homes lies in their ability to automatically trigger other devices' actions: for example, a smart camera triggering a smart lock to unlock a door. Manually setting up these rules for smart devices or applications, however, is time-consuming and inefficient. Rule recommendation systems can automatically suggest rules for users by learning which rules are popular based on those previously deployed (e.g., in others' smart homes). Conventional recommendation formulations require a central server to record the rules used in many users' homes, which compromises their privacy and leaves them vulnerable to attacks on the central server's database of rules. Moreover, these solutions typically leverage generic user-item matrix methods that do not fully exploit the structure of the rule recommendation problem. In this paper, we propose a new rule recommendation system, dubbed as FedRule, to address these challenges. One graph is constructed per user upon the rules s/he is using, and the rule recommendation is formulated as a link prediction task in these graphs. This formulation enables us to design a federated training algorithm that is able to keep users' data private. Extensive experiments corroborate our claims by demonstrating that FedRule has comparable performance as the centralized setting and outperforms conventional solutions.


Mutually-Regularized Dual Collaborative Variational Auto-encoder for Recommendation Systems

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Nov 21, 2022
Yaochen Zhu, Zhenzhong Chen

Recently, user-oriented auto-encoders (UAEs) have been widely used in recommender systems to learn semantic representations of users based on their historical ratings. However, since latent item variables are not modeled in UAE, it is difficult to utilize the widely available item content information when ratings are sparse. In addition, whenever new items arrive, we need to wait for collecting rating data for these items and retrain the UAE from scratch, which is inefficient in practice. Aiming to address the above two problems simultaneously, we propose a mutually-regularized dual collaborative variational auto-encoder (MD-CVAE) for recommendation. First, by replacing randomly initialized last layer weights of the vanilla UAE with stacked latent item embeddings, MD-CVAE integrates two heterogeneous information sources, i.e., item content and user ratings, into the same principled variational framework where the weights of UAE are regularized by item content such that convergence to a non-optima due to data sparsity can be avoided. In addition, the regularization is mutual in that user ratings can also help the dual item content module learn more recommendation-oriented item content embeddings. Finally, we propose a symmetric inference strategy for MD-CVAE where the first layer weights of the UAE encoder are tied to the latent item embeddings of the UAE decoder. Through this strategy, no retraining is required to recommend newly introduced items. Empirical studies show the effectiveness of MD-CVAE in both normal and cold-start scenarios. Codes are available at


Aligning Recommendation and Conversation via Dual Imitation

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Nov 05, 2022
Jinfeng Zhou, Bo Wang, Minlie Huang, Dongming Zhao, Kun Huang, Ruifang He, Yuexian Hou

Human conversations of recommendation naturally involve the shift of interests which can align the recommendation actions and conversation process to make accurate recommendations with rich explanations. However, existing conversational recommendation systems (CRS) ignore the advantage of user interest shift in connecting recommendation and conversation, which leads to an ineffective loose coupling structure of CRS. To address this issue, by modeling the recommendation actions as recommendation paths in a knowledge graph (KG), we propose DICR (Dual Imitation for Conversational Recommendation), which designs a dual imitation to explicitly align the recommendation paths and user interest shift paths in a recommendation module and a conversation module, respectively. By exchanging alignment signals, DICR achieves bidirectional promotion between recommendation and conversation modules and generates high-quality responses with accurate recommendations and coherent explanations. Experiments demonstrate that DICR outperforms the state-of-the-art models on recommendation and conversation performance with automatic, human, and novel explainability metrics.

* EMNLP 2022 

A Tale of Two Graphs: Freezing and Denoising Graph Structures for Multimodal Recommendation

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Nov 15, 2022
Xin Zhou

Multimodal recommender systems utilizing multimodal features (e.g. images and textual descriptions) typically show better recommendation accuracy than general recommendation models based solely on user-item interactions. Generally, prior work fuses multimodal features into item ID embeddings to enrich item representations, thus failing to capture the latent semantic item-item structures. In this context, LATTICE [1] proposes to learn the latent structure between items explicitly and achieves state-of-the-art performance for multimodal recommendations. However, we argue the latent graph structure learning of LATTICE is both inefficient and unnecessary. Experimentally, we demonstrate that freezing its item-item structure before training can also achieve competitive performance. Based on this finding, we propose a simple yet effective model, dubbed as FREEDOM, that FREEzes the item-item graph and DenOises the user-item interaction graph simultaneously for Multimodal recommendation. In denoising the user-item interaction graph, we devise a degree-sensitive edge pruning method, which rejects possibly noisy edges with a high probability when sampling the graph. We evaluate the proposed model on three real-world datasets and show that FREEDOM can significantly outperform the strongest baselines. Compared with LATTICE, FREEDOM achieves an average improvement of 19.07% in recommendation accuracy while reducing its memory cost up to 6$\times$ on large graphs. The source code is available at:

* 12 pages, 4 figures, working report 

C3SASR: Cheap Causal Convolutions for Self-Attentive Sequential Recommendation

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Nov 10, 2022
Jiayi Chen, Wen Wu, Liye Shi, Yu Ji, Wenxin Hu, Xi Chen, Wei Zheng, Liang He

Sequential Recommendation is a prominent topic in current research, which uses user behavior sequence as an input to predict future behavior. By assessing the correlation strength of historical behavior through the dot product, the model based on the self-attention mechanism can capture the long-term preference of the sequence. However, it has two limitations. On the one hand, it does not effectively utilize the items' local context information when determining the attention and creating the sequence representation. On the other hand, the convolution and linear layers often contain redundant information, which limits the ability to encode sequences. In this paper, we propose a self-attentive sequential recommendation model based on cheap causal convolution. It utilizes causal convolutions to capture items' local information for calculating attention and generating sequence embedding. It also uses cheap convolutions to improve the representations by lightweight structure. We evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed model in terms of both accurate and calibrated sequential recommendation. Experiments on benchmark datasets show that the proposed model can perform better in single- and multi-objective recommendation scenarios.