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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

When Collaborative Filtering Meets Reinforcement Learning

Apr 02, 2019
Yu Lei, Wenjie Li

In this paper, we study a multi-step interactive recommendation problem, where the item recommended at current step may affect the quality of future recommendations. To address the problem, we develop a novel and effective approach, named CFRL, which seamlessly integrates the ideas of both collaborative filtering (CF) and reinforcement learning (RL). More specifically, we first model the recommender-user interactive recommendation problem as an agent-environment RL task, which is mathematically described by a Markov decision process (MDP). Further, to achieve collaborative recommendations for the entire user community, we propose a novel CF-based MDP by encoding the states of all users into a shared latent vector space. Finally, we propose an effective Q-network learning method to learn the agent's optimal policy based on the CF-based MDP. The capability of CFRL is demonstrated by comparing its performance against a variety of existing methods on real-world datasets.


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A Latent Source Model for Online Collaborative Filtering

Oct 31, 2014
Guy Bresler, George H. Chen, Devavrat Shah

Despite the prevalence of collaborative filtering in recommendation systems, there has been little theoretical development on why and how well it works, especially in the "online" setting, where items are recommended to users over time. We address this theoretical gap by introducing a model for online recommendation systems, cast item recommendation under the model as a learning problem, and analyze the performance of a cosine-similarity collaborative filtering method. In our model, each of $n$ users either likes or dislikes each of $m$ items. We assume there to be $k$ types of users, and all the users of a given type share a common string of probabilities determining the chance of liking each item. At each time step, we recommend an item to each user, where a key distinction from related bandit literature is that once a user consumes an item (e.g., watches a movie), then that item cannot be recommended to the same user again. The goal is to maximize the number of likable items recommended to users over time. Our main result establishes that after nearly $\log(km)$ initial learning time steps, a simple collaborative filtering algorithm achieves essentially optimal performance without knowing $k$. The algorithm has an exploitation step that uses cosine similarity and two types of exploration steps, one to explore the space of items (standard in the literature) and the other to explore similarity between users (novel to this work).

* Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2014) 

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Opportunistic Multi-aspect Fairness through Personalized Re-ranking

May 21, 2020
Nasim Sonboli, Farzad Eskandanian, Robin Burke, Weiwen Liu, Bamshad Mobasher

As recommender systems have become more widespread and moved into areas with greater social impact, such as employment and housing, researchers have begun to seek ways to ensure fairness in the results that such systems produce. This work has primarily focused on developing recommendation approaches in which fairness metrics are jointly optimized along with recommendation accuracy. However, the previous work had largely ignored how individual preferences may limit the ability of an algorithm to produce fair recommendations. Furthermore, with few exceptions, researchers have only considered scenarios in which fairness is measured relative to a single sensitive feature or attribute (such as race or gender). In this paper, we present a re-ranking approach to fairness-aware recommendation that learns individual preferences across multiple fairness dimensions and uses them to enhance provider fairness in recommendation results. Specifically, we show that our opportunistic and metric-agnostic approach achieves a better trade-off between accuracy and fairness than prior re-ranking approaches and does so across multiple fairness dimensions.


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A Missing Information Loss function for implicit feedback datasets

Aug 16, 2018
Juan Arévalo, Juan Ramón Duque, Marco Creatura

Latent factor models for Recommender Systems with implicit feedback typically treat unobserved user-item interactions (i.e. missing information) as negative feedback. This is frequently done either through negative sampling (point--wise loss) or with a ranking loss function (pair-- or list--wise estimation). Since a zero preference recommendation is a valid solution for most common objective functions, regarding unknown values as actual zeros results in users having a zero preference recommendation for most of the available items. In this paper we propose a novel objective function, the \emph{Missing Information Loss} (MIL), that explicitly forbids treating unobserved user-item interactions as positive or negative feedback. We apply this loss to both traditional Matrix Factorization and user--based Denoising Autoencoder, and compare it with other established objective functions such as cross-entropy (both point- and pair-wise) or the recently proposed multinomial log-likelihood. MIL achieves competitive performance in ranking-aware metrics when applied to three datasets. Furthermore, we show that such a relevance in the recommendation is obtained while displaying popular items less frequently (up to a $20 \%$ decrease with respect to the best competing method). This debiasing from the recommendation of popular items favours the appearance of infrequent items (up to a $50 \%$ increase of long-tail recommendations), a valuable feature for Recommender Systems with a large catalogue of products.

* 9 pages, 2 figures 

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A Distributed Collaborative Filtering Algorithm Using Multiple Data Sources

Jul 16, 2018
Mohamed Reda Bouadjenek, Esther Pacitti, Maximilien Servajean, Florent Masseglia, Amr El Abbadi

Collaborative Filtering (CF) is one of the most commonly used recommendation methods. CF consists in predicting whether, or how much, a user will like (or dislike) an item by leveraging the knowledge of the user's preferences as well as that of other users. In practice, users interact and express their opinion on only a small subset of items, which makes the corresponding user-item rating matrix very sparse. Such data sparsity yields two main problems for recommender systems: (1) the lack of data to effectively model users' preferences, and (2) the lack of data to effectively model item characteristics. However, there are often many other data sources that are available to a recommender system provider, which can describe user interests and item characteristics (e.g., users' social network, tags associated to items, etc.). These valuable data sources may supply useful information to enhance a recommendation system in modeling users' preferences and item characteristics more accurately and thus, hopefully, to make recommenders more precise. For various reasons, these data sources may be managed by clusters of different data centers, thus requiring the development of distributed solutions. In this paper, we propose a new distributed collaborative filtering algorithm, which exploits and combines multiple and diverse data sources to improve recommendation quality. Our experimental evaluation using real datasets shows the effectiveness of our algorithm compared to state-of-the-art recommendation algorithms.

* The Tenth International Conference on Advances in Databases, Knowledge, and Data Applications, DBKDA 2018 May 20, 2018 to May 24, 2018 - Nice, France 

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Embedding Code Contexts for Cryptographic API Suggestion:New Methodologies and Comparisons

Mar 18, 2021
Ya Xiao, Salman Ahmed, Wenjia Song, Xinyang Ge, Bimal Viswanath, Danfeng Yao

Despite recent research efforts, the vision of automatic code generation through API recommendation has not been realized. Accuracy and expressiveness challenges of API recommendation needs to be systematically addressed. We present a new neural network-based approach, Multi-HyLSTM for API recommendation --targeting cryptography-related code. Multi-HyLSTM leverages program analysis to guide the API embedding and recommendation. By analyzing the data dependence paths of API methods, we train embedding and specialize a multi-path neural network architecture for API recommendation tasks that accurately predict the next API method call. We address two previously unreported programming language-specific challenges, differentiating functionally similar APIs and capturing low-frequency long-range influences. Our results confirm the effectiveness of our design choices, including program-analysis-guided embedding, multi-path code suggestion architecture, and low-frequency long-range-enhanced sequence learning, with high accuracy on top-1 recommendations. We achieve a top-1 accuracy of 91.41% compared with 77.44% from the state-of-the-art tool SLANG. In an analysis of 245 test cases, compared with the commercial tool Codota, we achieve a top-1 recommendation accuracy of 88.98%, which is significantly better than Codota's accuracy of 64.90%. We publish our data and code as a large Java cryptographic code dataset.

* 12 pages, 10 figures 

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Matrix Factorization with Explicit Trust and Distrust Relationships

Aug 02, 2014
Rana Forsati, Mehrdad Mahdavi, Mehrnoush Shamsfard, Mohamed Sarwat

With the advent of online social networks, recommender systems have became crucial for the success of many online applications/services due to their significance role in tailoring these applications to user-specific needs or preferences. Despite their increasing popularity, in general recommender systems suffer from the data sparsity and the cold-start problems. To alleviate these issues, in recent years there has been an upsurge of interest in exploiting social information such as trust relations among users along with the rating data to improve the performance of recommender systems. The main motivation for exploiting trust information in recommendation process stems from the observation that the ideas we are exposed to and the choices we make are significantly influenced by our social context. However, in large user communities, in addition to trust relations, the distrust relations also exist between users. For instance, in Epinions the concepts of personal "web of trust" and personal "block list" allow users to categorize their friends based on the quality of reviews into trusted and distrusted friends, respectively. In this paper, we propose a matrix factorization based model for recommendation in social rating networks that properly incorporates both trust and distrust relationships aiming to improve the quality of recommendations and mitigate the data sparsity and the cold-start users issues. Through experiments on the Epinions data set, we show that our new algorithm outperforms its standard trust-enhanced or distrust-enhanced counterparts with respect to accuracy, thereby demonstrating the positive effect that incorporation of explicit distrust information can have on recommender systems.

* ACM Transactions on Information Systems 

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CausCF: Causal Collaborative Filtering for RecommendationEffect Estimation

May 28, 2021
Xu Xie, Zhaoyang Liu, Shiwen Wu, Fei Sun, Cihang Liu, Jiawei Chen, Jinyang Gao, Bin Cui, Bolin Ding

To improve user experience and profits of corporations, modern industrial recommender systems usually aim to select the items that are most likely to be interacted with (e.g., clicks and purchases). However, they overlook the fact that users may purchase the items even without recommendations. To select these effective items, it is essential to estimate the causal effect of recommendations. The real effective items are the ones which can contribute to purchase probability uplift. Nevertheless, it is difficult to obtain the real causal effect since we can only recommend or not recommend an item to a user at one time. Furthermore, previous works usually rely on the randomized controlled trial~(RCT) experiment to evaluate their performance. However, it is usually not practicable in the recommendation scenario due to its unavailable time consuming. To tackle these problems, in this paper, we propose a causal collaborative filtering~(CausCF) method inspired by the widely adopted collaborative filtering~(CF) technique. It is based on the idea that similar users not only have a similar taste on items, but also have similar treatment effect under recommendations. CausCF extends the classical matrix factorization to the tensor factorization with three dimensions -- user, item, and treatment. Furthermore, we also employs regression discontinuity design (RDD) to evaluate the precision of the estimated causal effects from different models. With the testable assumptions, RDD analysis can provide an unbiased causal conclusion without RCT experiments. Through dedicated experiments on both the public datasets and the industrial application, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed CausCF on the causal effect estimation and ranking performance improvement.


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Advanced Customer Activity Prediction based on Deep Hierarchic Encoder-Decoders

May 16, 2019
Andrei Damian, Laurentiu Piciu, Sergiu Turlea, Nicolae Tapus

Product recommender systems and customer profiling techniques have always been a priority in online retail. Recent machine learning research advances and also wide availability of massive parallel numerical computing has enabled various approaches and directions of recommender systems advancement. Worth to mention is the fact that in past years multiple traditional "offline" retail business are gearing more and more towards employing inferential and even predictive analytics both to stock-related problems such as predictive replenishment but also to enrich customer interaction experience. One of the most important areas of recommender systems research and development is that of Deep Learning based models which employ representational learning to model consumer behavioral patterns. Current state of the art in Deep Learning based recommender systems uses multiple approaches ranging from already classical methods such as the ones based on learning product representation vector, to recurrent analysis of customer transactional time-series and up to generative models based on adversarial training. Each of these methods has multiple advantages and inherent weaknesses such as inability of understanding the actual user-journey, ability to propose only single product recommendation or top-k product recommendations without prediction of actual next-best-offer. In our work we will present a new and innovative architectural approach of applying state-of-the-art hierarchical multi-module encoder-decoder architecture in order to solve several of current state-of-the-art recommender systems issues. Our approach will also produce by-products such as product need-based segmentation and customer behavioral segmentation - all in an end-to-end trainable approach.

* 2019 22nd International Conference on Control Systems and Computer Science (CSCS) 

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