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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Recommending with Recommendations

Dec 02, 2021
Naveen Durvasula, Franklyn Wang, Scott Duke Kominers

Recommendation systems are a key modern application of machine learning, but they have the downside that they often draw upon sensitive user information in making their predictions. We show how to address this deficiency by basing a service's recommendation engine upon recommendations from other existing services, which contain no sensitive information by nature. Specifically, we introduce a contextual multi-armed bandit recommendation framework where the agent has access to recommendations for other services. In our setting, the user's (potentially sensitive) information belongs to a high-dimensional latent space, and the ideal recommendations for the source and target tasks (which are non-sensitive) are given by unknown linear transformations of the user information. So long as the tasks rely on similar segments of the user information, we can decompose the target recommendation problem into systematic components that can be derived from the source recommendations, and idiosyncratic components that are user-specific and cannot be derived from the source, but have significantly lower dimensionality. We propose an explore-then-refine approach to learning and utilizing this decomposition; then using ideas from perturbation theory and statistical concentration of measure, we prove our algorithm achieves regret comparable to a strong skyline that has full knowledge of the source and target transformations. We also consider a generalization of our algorithm to a model with many simultaneous targets and no source. Our methods obtain superior empirical results on synthetic benchmarks.

* 22 pages, 2 figures 

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Is News Recommendation a Sequential Recommendation Task?

Aug 26, 2021
Chuhan Wu, Fangzhao Wu, Tao Qi, Yongfeng Huang

News recommendation is often modeled as a sequential recommendation task, which assumes that there are rich short-term dependencies over historical clicked news. However, in news recommendation scenarios users usually have strong preferences on the temporal diversity of news information and may not tend to click similar news successively, which is very different from many sequential recommendation scenarios such as e-commerce recommendation. In this paper, we study whether news recommendation can be regarded as a standard sequential recommendation problem. Through extensive experiments on two real-world datasets, we find that modeling news recommendation as a sequential recommendation problem is suboptimal. To handle this challenge, we further propose a temporal diversity-aware news recommendation method that can promote candidate news that are diverse from recently clicked news, which can help predict future clicks more accurately. Experiments show that our approach can consistently improve various news recommendation methods.


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The Deconfounded Recommender: A Causal Inference Approach to Recommendation

Aug 20, 2018
Yixin Wang, Dawen Liang, Laurent Charlin, David M. Blei

The goal of a recommender system is to show its users items that they will like. In forming its prediction, the recommender system tries to answer: "what would the rating be if we 'forced' the user to watch the movie?" This is a question about an intervention in the world, a causal question, and so traditional recommender systems are doing causal inference from observational data. This paper develops a causal inference approach to recommendation. Traditional recommenders are likely biased by unobserved confounders, variables that affect both the "treatment assignments" (which movies the users watch) and the "outcomes" (how they rate them). We develop the deconfounded recommender, a strategy to leverage classical recommendation models for causal predictions. The deconfounded recommender uses Poisson factorization on which movies users watched to infer latent confounders in the data; it then augments common recommendation models to correct for potential confounding bias. The deconfounded recommender improves recommendation and it enjoys stable performance against interventions on test sets.

* 14 pages, 3 figures 

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Can We Model News Recommendation as Sequential Recommendation?

Aug 20, 2021
Chuhan Wu, Fangzhao Wu, Tao Qi, Yongfeng Huang

News recommendation is often modeled as a sequential recommendation task, which assumes that there are rich short-term dependencies over historical clicked news. However, in news recommendation scenarios users usually have strong preferences on the temporal diversity of news information and may not tend to click similar news successively, which is very different from many sequential recommendation scenarios such as e-commerce recommendation. In this paper, we study whether news recommendation can be regarded as a standard sequential recommendation problem. Through extensive experiments on two real-world datasets, we find that modeling news recommendation as a sequential recommendation problem is suboptimal. To handle this challenge, we further propose a temporal diversity-aware news recommendation method that can promote candidate news that are diverse from recently clicked news, which can help predict future clicks more accurately. Experiments show that our approach can consistently improve various news recommendation methods.


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A Hybrid Recommender System for Recommending Smartphones to Prospective Customers

May 26, 2021
Pratik K. Biswas, Songlin Liu

Recommender Systems are a subclass of machine learning systems that employ sophisticated information filtering strategies to reduce the search time and suggest the most relevant items to any particular user. Hybrid recommender systems combine multiple recommendation strategies in different ways to benefit from their complementary advantages. Some hybrid recommender systems have combined collaborative filtering and content-based approaches to build systems that are more robust. In this paper, we propose a hybrid recommender system, which combines Alternative Least Squares (ALS) based collaborative filtering with deep learning to enhance recommendation performance as well as overcome the limitations associated with the collaborative filtering approach, especially concerning its cold start problem. In essence, we use the outputs from ALS (collaborative filtering) to influence the recommendations from a Deep Neural Network (DNN), which combines characteristic, contextual, structural and sequential information, in a big data processing framework. We have conducted several experiments in testing the efficacy of the proposed hybrid architecture in recommending smartphones to prospective customers and compared its performance with other open-source recommenders. The results have shown that the proposed system has outperformed several existing hybrid recommender systems.

* Journal Paper 

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Non-IID Recommender Systems: A Review and Framework of Recommendation Paradigm Shifting

Jul 01, 2020
Longbing Cao

While recommendation plays an increasingly critical role in our living, study, work, and entertainment, the recommendations we receive are often for irrelevant, duplicate, or uninteresting products and services. A critical reason for such bad recommendations lies in the intrinsic assumption that recommended users and items are independent and identically distributed (IID) in existing theories and systems. Another phenomenon is that, while tremendous efforts have been made to model specific aspects of users or items, the overall user and item characteristics and their non-IIDness have been overlooked. In this paper, the non-IID nature and characteristics of recommendation are discussed, followed by the non-IID theoretical framework in order to build a deep and comprehensive understanding of the intrinsic nature of recommendation problems, from the perspective of both couplings and heterogeneity. This non-IID recommendation research triggers the paradigm shift from IID to non-IID recommendation research and can hopefully deliver informed, relevant, personalized, and actionable recommendations. It creates exciting new directions and fundamental solutions to address various complexities including cold-start, sparse data-based, cross-domain, group-based, and shilling attack-related issues.

* Engineering, 2: 212-224, 2016 

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Private Recommender Systems: How Can Users Build Their Own Fair Recommender Systems without Log Data?

May 26, 2021
Ryoma Sato

Fairness is an important property in data-mining applications, including recommender systems. In this work, we investigate a case where users of a recommender system need (or want) to be fair to a protected group of items. For example, in a job market, the user is the recruiter, an item is the job seeker, and the protected attribute is gender or race. Even if recruiters want to use a fair talent recommender system, the platform may not provide a fair recommender system, or recruiters may not be able to ascertain whether the recommender system's algorithm is fair. In this case, recruiters cannot utilize the recommender system, or they may become unfair to job seekers. In this work, we propose methods to enable the users to build their own fair recommender systems. Our methods can generate fair recommendations even when the platform does not (or cannot) provide fair recommender systems. The key challenge is that a user does not have access to the log data of other users or the latent representations of items. This restriction prohibits us from adopting existing methods, which are designed for platforms. The main idea is that a user has access to unfair recommendations provided by the platform. Our methods leverage the outputs of an unfair recommender system to construct a new fair recommender system. We empirically validate that our proposed method improves fairness substantially without harming much performance of the original unfair system.


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A Survey on Neural Recommendation: From Collaborative Filtering to Content and Context Enriched Recommendation

Apr 27, 2021
Le Wu, Xiangnan He, Xiang Wang, Kun Zhang, Meng Wang

Influenced by the stunning success of deep learning in computer vision and language understanding, research in recommendation has shifted to inventing new recommender models based on neural networks. In recent years, we have witnessed significant progress in developing neural recommender models, which generalize and surpass traditional recommender models owing to the strong representation power of neural networks. In this survey paper, we conduct a systematic review on neural recommender models, aiming to summarize the field to facilitate future progress. Distinct from existing surveys that categorize existing methods based on the taxonomy of deep learning techniques, we instead summarize the field from the perspective of recommendation modeling, which could be more instructive to researchers and practitioners working on recommender systems. Specifically, we divide the work into three types based on the data they used for recommendation modeling: 1) collaborative filtering models, which leverage the key source of user-item interaction data; 2) content enriched models, which additionally utilize the side information associated with users and items, like user profile and item knowledge graph; and 3) context enriched models, which account for the contextual information associated with an interaction, such as time, location, and the past interactions. After reviewing representative works for each type, we finally discuss some promising directions in this field, including benchmarking recommender systems, graph reasoning based recommendation models, and explainable and fair recommendations for social good.

* In submission 

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Applying the Affective Aware Pseudo Association Method to Enhance the Top-N Recommendations Distribution to Users in Group Emotion Recommender Systems

Feb 08, 2021
John Kalung Leung, Igor Griva, William G. Kennedy

Recommender Systems are a subclass of information retrieval systems, or more succinctly, a class of information filtering systems that seeks to predict how close is the match of the user's preference to a recommended item. A common approach for making recommendations for a user group is to extend Personalized Recommender Systems' capability. This approach gives the impression that group recommendations are retrofits of the Personalized Recommender Systems. Moreover, such an approach not taken the dynamics of group emotion and individual emotion into the consideration in making top_N recommendations. Recommending items to a group of two or more users has certainly raised unique challenges in group behaviors that influence group decision-making that researchers only partially understand. This study applies the Affective Aware Pseudo Association Method in studying group formation and dynamics in group decision-making. The method shows its adaptability to group's moods change when making recommendations.

* 19 pages, 9 tables 

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Collective Mobile Sequential Recommendation: A Recommender System for Multiple Taxicabs

Jun 22, 2019
Tongwen Wu, Zizhen Zhang, Yanzhi Li, Jiahai Wang

Mobile sequential recommendation was originally designed to find a promising route for a single taxicab. Directly applying it for multiple taxicabs may cause an excessive overlap of recommended routes. The multi-taxicab recommendation problem is challenging and has been less studied. In this paper, we first formalize a collective mobile sequential recommendation problem based on a classic mathematical model, which characterizes time-varying influence among competing taxicabs. Next, we propose a new evaluation metric for a collection of taxicab routes aimed to minimize the sum of potential travel time. We then develop an efficient algorithm to calculate the metric and design a greedy recommendation method to approximate the solution. Finally, numerical experiments show the superiority of our methods. In trace-driven simulation, the set of routes recommended by our method significantly outperforms those obtained by conventional methods.


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GHRS: Graph-based Hybrid Recommendation System with Application to Movie Recommendation

Nov 06, 2021
Zahra Zamanzadeh Darban, Mohammad Hadi Valipour

Research about recommender systems emerges over the last decade and comprises valuable services to increase different companies' revenue. Several approaches exist in handling paper recommender systems. While most existing recommender systems rely either on a content-based approach or a collaborative approach, there are hybrid approaches that can improve recommendation accuracy using a combination of both approaches. Even though many algorithms are proposed using such methods, it is still necessary for further improvement. In this paper, we propose a recommender system method using a graph-based model associated with the similarity of users' ratings, in combination with users' demographic and location information. By utilizing the advantages of Autoencoder feature extraction, we extract new features based on all combined attributes. Using the new set of features for clustering users, our proposed approach (GHRS) has gained a significant improvement, which dominates other methods' performance in the cold-start problem. The experimental results on the MovieLens dataset show that the proposed algorithm outperforms many existing recommendation algorithms on recommendation accuracy.

* 14 pages, 13 figures, under review in an Elsevier journal 

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ML-based Visualization Recommendation: Learning to Recommend Visualizations from Data

Sep 25, 2020
Xin Qian, Ryan A. Rossi, Fan Du, Sungchul Kim, Eunyee Koh, Sana Malik, Tak Yeon Lee, Joel Chan

Visualization recommendation seeks to generate, score, and recommend to users useful visualizations automatically, and are fundamentally important for exploring and gaining insights into a new or existing dataset quickly. In this work, we propose the first end-to-end ML-based visualization recommendation system that takes as input a large corpus of datasets and visualizations, learns a model based on this data. Then, given a new unseen dataset from an arbitrary user, the model automatically generates visualizations for that new dataset, derive scores for the visualizations, and output a list of recommended visualizations to the user ordered by effectiveness. We also describe an evaluation framework to quantitatively evaluate visualization recommendation models learned from a large corpus of visualizations and datasets. Through quantitative experiments, a user study, and qualitative analysis, we show that our end-to-end ML-based system recommends more effective and useful visualizations compared to existing state-of-the-art rule-based systems. Finally, we observed a strong preference by the human experts in our user study towards the visualizations recommended by our ML-based system as opposed to the rule-based system (5.92 from a 7-point Likert scale compared to only 3.45).

* 17 pages, 7 figures 

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Loss Aversion in Recommender Systems: Utilizing Negative User Preference to Improve Recommendation Quality

Dec 29, 2018
Bibek Paudel, Sandro Luck, Abraham Bernstein

Negative user preference is an important context that is not sufficiently utilized by many existing recommender systems. This context is especially useful in scenarios where the cost of negative items is high for the users. In this work, we describe a new recommender algorithm that explicitly models negative user preferences in order to recommend more positive items at the top of recommendation-lists. We build upon existing machine-learning model to incorporate the contextual information provided by negative user preference. With experimental evaluations on two openly available datasets, we show that our method is able to improve recommendation quality: by improving accuracy and at the same time reducing the number of negative items at the top of recommendation-lists. Our work demonstrates the value of the contextual information provided by negative feedback, and can also be extended to signed social networks and link prediction in other networks.

* The First International Workshop on Context-Aware Recommendation Systems with Big Data Analytics (CARS-BDA), co-organized with the 12th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, 2019, Melbourne, Australia 

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Reciprocal Recommender Systems: Analysis of State-of-Art Literature, Challenges and Opportunities on Social Recommendation

Jul 17, 2020
Ivan Palomares, Carlos Porcel, Luiz Pizzato, Ido Guy, Enrique Herrera-Viedma

Many social services including online dating, social media, recruitment and online learning, largely rely on \matching people with the right people". The success of these services and the user experience with them often depends on their ability to match users. Reciprocal Recommender Systems (RRS) arose to facilitate this process by identifying users who are a potential match for each other, based on information provided by them. These systems are inherently more complex than user-item recommendation approaches and unidirectional user recommendation services, since they need to take into account both users' preferences towards each other in the recommendation process. This entails not only predicting accurate preference estimates as classical recommenders do, but also defining adequate fusion processes for aggregating user-to-user preferential information. The latter is a crucial and distinctive, yet barely investigated aspect in RRS research. This paper presents a snapshot analysis of the extant literature to summarize the state-of-the-art RRS research to date, focusing on the fundamental features that differentiate RRSs from other classes of recommender systems. Following this, we discuss the challenges and opportunities for future research on RRSs, with special focus on (i) fusion strategies to account for reciprocity and (ii) emerging application domains related to social recommendation.

* 53 pages, 6 figures, 8 tables, 176 references 

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NCBO Ontology Recommender 2.0: An Enhanced Approach for Biomedical Ontology Recommendation

May 25, 2017
Marcos Martinez-Romero, Clement Jonquet, Martin J. O'Connor, John Graybeal, Alejandro Pazos, Mark A. Musen

Biomedical researchers use ontologies to annotate their data with ontology terms, enabling better data integration and interoperability. However, the number, variety and complexity of current biomedical ontologies make it cumbersome for researchers to determine which ones to reuse for their specific needs. To overcome this problem, in 2010 the National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) released the Ontology Recommender, which is a service that receives a biomedical text corpus or a list of keywords and suggests ontologies appropriate for referencing the indicated terms. We developed a new version of the NCBO Ontology Recommender. Called Ontology Recommender 2.0, it uses a new recommendation approach that evaluates the relevance of an ontology to biomedical text data according to four criteria: (1) the extent to which the ontology covers the input data; (2) the acceptance of the ontology in the biomedical community; (3) the level of detail of the ontology classes that cover the input data; and (4) the specialization of the ontology to the domain of the input data. Our evaluation shows that the enhanced recommender provides higher quality suggestions than the original approach, providing better coverage of the input data, more detailed information about their concepts, increased specialization for the domain of the input data, and greater acceptance and use in the community. In addition, it provides users with more explanatory information, along with suggestions of not only individual ontologies but also groups of ontologies. It also can be customized to fit the needs of different scenarios. Ontology Recommender 2.0 combines the strengths of its predecessor with a range of adjustments and new features that improve its reliability and usefulness. Ontology Recommender 2.0 recommends over 500 biomedical ontologies from the NCBO BioPortal platform, where it is openly available.

* Journal of Biomedical Semantics 8 (2017) 1-22 
* 29 pages, 8 figures, 11 tables 

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Explainable Recommendation: A Survey and New Perspectives

Sep 04, 2018
Yongfeng Zhang, Xu Chen

Explainable Recommendation refers to the personalized recommendation algorithms that address the problem of why - they not only provide users with the recommendations, but also provide explanations to make the user or system designer aware of why such items are recommended. In this way, it helps to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, persuasiveness, and user satisfaction of recommendation systems. In recent years, a large number of explainable recommendation approaches -- especially model-based explainable recommendation algorithms -- have been proposed and adopted in real-world systems. In this survey, we review the work on explainable recommendation that has been published in or before the year of 2018. We first highlight the position of explainable recommendation in recommender system research by categorizing recommendation problems into the 5W, i.e., what, when, who, where, and why. We then conduct a comprehensive survey of explainable recommendation itself in terms of three aspects: 1) We provide a chronological research line of explanations in recommender systems, including the user study approaches in the early years, as well as the more recent model-based approaches. 2) We provide a taxonomy for explainable recommendation algorithms, including user-based, item-based, model-based, and post-model explanations. 3) We summarize the application of explainable recommendation in different recommendation tasks, including product recommendation, social recommendation, POI recommendation, etc. We devote a section to discuss the explanation perspectives in the broader IR and machine learning settings, as well as their relationship with explainable recommendation research. We end the survey by discussing potential future research directions to promote the explainable recommendation research area.

* 90 pages 

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Trust in Recommender Systems: A Deep Learning Perspective

Apr 08, 2020
Manqing Dong, Feng Yuan, Lina Yao, Xianzhi Wang, Xiwei Xu, Liming Zhu

A significant remaining challenge for existing recommender systems is that users may not trust the recommender systems for either lack of explanation or inaccurate recommendation results. Thus, it becomes critical to embrace a trustworthy recommender system. This survey provides a systemic summary of three categories of trust-aware recommender systems: social-aware recommender systems that leverage users' social relationships; robust recommender systems that filter untruthful noises (e.g., spammers and fake information) or enhance attack resistance; explainable recommender systems that provide explanations of recommended items. We focus on the work based on deep learning techniques, an emerging area in the recommendation research.


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Single-Item Fashion Recommender: Towards Cross-Domain Recommendations

Nov 01, 2021
Seyed Omid Mohammadi, Hossein Bodaghi, Ahmad Kalhor

Nowadays, recommender systems and search engines play an integral role in fashion e-commerce. Still, many challenges lie ahead, and this study tries to tackle some. This article first suggests a content-based fashion recommender system that uses a parallel neural network to take a single fashion item shop image as input and make in-shop recommendations by listing similar items available in the store. Next, the same structure is enhanced to personalize the results based on user preferences. This work then introduces a background augmentation technique that makes the system more robust to out-of-domain queries, enabling it to make street-to-shop recommendations using only a training set of catalog shop images. Moreover, the last contribution of this paper is a new evaluation metric for recommendation tasks called objective-guided human score. This method is an entirely customizable framework that produces interpretable, comparable scores from subjective evaluations of human scorers.

* 16 Pages, 14 Figures, 2 Tables 

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Maximizing profit using recommender systems

Aug 25, 2009
Aparna Das, Claire Mathieu, Daniel Ricketts

Traditional recommendation systems make recommendations based solely on the customer's past purchases, product ratings and demographic data without considering the profitability the items being recommended. In this work we study the question of how a vendor can directly incorporate the profitability of items into its recommender so as to maximize its expected profit while still providing accurate recommendations. Our approach uses the output of any traditional recommender system and adjust them according to item profitabilities. Our approach is parameterized so the vendor can control how much the recommendation incorporating profits can deviate from the traditional recommendation. We study our approach under two settings and show that it achieves approximately 22% more profit than traditional recommendations.


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Designing Explanations for Group Recommender Systems

Feb 24, 2021
A. Felfernig, N. Tintarev, T. N. T. Trang, M. Stettinger

Explanations are used in recommender systems for various reasons. Users have to be supported in making (high-quality) decisions more quickly. Developers of recommender systems want to convince users to purchase specific items. Users should better understand how the recommender system works and why a specific item has been recommended. Users should also develop a more in-depth understanding of the item domain. Consequently, explanations are designed in order to achieve specific \emph{goals} such as increasing the transparency of a recommendation or increasing a user's trust in the recommender system. In this paper, we provide an overview of existing research related to explanations in recommender systems, and specifically discuss aspects relevant to group recommendation scenarios. In this context, we present different ways of explaining and visualizing recommendations determined on the basis of preference aggregation strategies.

* Cite as: A. Felfernig, N. Tintarev, T.N.T. Trang, and M. Stettinger. Explanations for Groups. In A. Felfernig, L. Boratto, M. Stettinger, and M. Tkalcic (Eds.), Group Recommender Systems: An Introduction (pp. 105-126). SpringerBriefs in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Springer, 2018 

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