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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Achieving User-Side Fairness in Contextual Bandits

Oct 22, 2020
Wen Huang, Kevin Labille, Xintao Wu, Dongwon Lee, Neil Heffernan

Personalized recommendation based on multi-arm bandit (MAB) algorithms has shown to lead to high utility and efficiency as it can dynamically adapt the recommendation strategy based on feedback. However, unfairness could incur in personalized recommendation. In this paper, we study how to achieve user-side fairness in personalized recommendation. We formulate our fair personalized recommendation as a modified contextual bandit and focus on achieving fairness on the individual whom is being recommended an item as opposed to achieving fairness on the items that are being recommended. We introduce and define a metric that captures the fairness in terms of rewards received for both the privileged and protected groups. We develop a fair contextual bandit algorithm, Fair-LinUCB, that improves upon the traditional LinUCB algorithm to achieve group-level fairness of users. Our algorithm detects and monitors unfairness while it learns to recommend personalized videos to students to achieve high efficiency. We provide a theoretical regret analysis and show that our algorithm has a slightly higher regret bound than LinUCB. We conduct numerous experimental evaluations to compare the performances of our fair contextual bandit to that of LinUCB and show that our approach achieves group-level fairness while maintaining a high utility.

* 12 pages 

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The Engagement-Diversity Connection: Evidence from a Field Experiment on Spotify

Mar 17, 2020
David Holtz, Benjamin Carterette, Praveen Chandar, Zahra Nazari, Henriette Cramer, Sinan Aral

It remains unknown whether personalized recommendations increase or decrease the diversity of content people consume. We present results from a randomized field experiment on Spotify testing the effect of personalized recommendations on consumption diversity. In the experiment, both control and treatment users were given podcast recommendations, with the sole aim of increasing podcast consumption. Treatment users' recommendations were personalized based on their music listening history, whereas control users were recommended popular podcasts among users in their demographic group. We find that, on average, the treatment increased podcast streams by 28.90%. However, the treatment also decreased the average individual-level diversity of podcast streams by 11.51%, and increased the aggregate diversity of podcast streams by 5.96%, indicating that personalized recommendations have the potential to create patterns of consumption that are homogenous within and diverse across users, a pattern reflecting Balkanization. Our results provide evidence of an "engagement-diversity trade-off" when recommendations are optimized solely to drive consumption: while personalized recommendations increase user engagement, they also affect the diversity of consumed content. This shift in consumption diversity can affect user retention and lifetime value, and impact the optimal strategy for content producers. We also observe evidence that our treatment affected streams from sections of Spotify's app not directly affected by the experiment, suggesting that exposure to personalized recommendations can affect the content that users consume organically. We believe these findings highlight the need for academics and practitioners to continue investing in personalization methods that explicitly take into account the diversity of content recommended.

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Click-Through Rate Prediction Using Graph Neural Networks and Online Learning

May 09, 2021
Farzaneh Rajabi, Jack Siyuan He

Recommendation systems have been extensively studied by many literature in the past and are ubiquitous in online advertisement, shopping industry/e-commerce, query suggestions in search engines, and friend recommendation in social networks. Moreover, restaurant/music/product/movie/news/app recommendations are only a few of the applications of a recommender system. A small percent improvement on the CTR prediction accuracy has been mentioned to add millions of dollars of revenue to the advertisement industry. Click-Through-Rate (CTR) prediction is a special version of recommender system in which the goal is predicting whether or not a user is going to click on a recommended item. A content-based recommendation approach takes into account the past history of the user's behavior, i.e. the recommended products and the users reaction to them. So, a personalized model that recommends the right item to the right user at the right time is the key to building such a model. On the other hand, the so-called collaborative filtering approach incorporates the click history of the users who are very similar to a particular user, thereby helping the recommender to come up with a more confident prediction for that particular user by leveraging the wider knowledge of users who share their taste in a connected network of users. In this project, we are interested in building a CTR predictor using Graph Neural Networks complemented by an online learning algorithm that models such dynamic interactions. By framing the problem as a binary classification task, we have evaluated this system both on the offline models (GNN, Deep Factorization Machines) with test-AUC of 0.7417 and on the online learning model with test-AUC of 0.7585 using a sub-sampled version of Criteo public dataset consisting of 10,000 data points.

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Personalised novel and explainable matrix factorisation

Jul 25, 2019
Ludovik Coba, Panagiotis Symeonidis, Markus Zanker

Recommendation systems personalise suggestions to individuals to help them in their decision making and exploration tasks. In the ideal case, these recommendations, besides of being accurate, should also be novel and explainable. However, up to now most platforms fail to provide both, novel recommendations that advance users' exploration along with explanations to make their reasoning more transparent to them. For instance, a well-known recommendation algorithm, such as matrix factorisation (MF), optimises only the accuracy criterion, while disregarding other quality criteria such as the explainability or the novelty, of recommended items. In this paper, to the best of our knowledge, we propose a new model, denoted as NEMF, that allows to trade-off the MF performance with respect to the criteria of novelty and explainability, while only minimally compromising on accuracy. In addition, we recommend a new explainability metric based on nDCG, which distinguishes a more explainable item from a less explainable item. An initial user study indicates how users perceive the different attributes of these "user" style explanations and our extensive experimental results demonstrate that we attain high accuracy by recommending also novel and explainable items.

* Data & Knowledge Engineering Volume 122, July 2019, Pages 142-158 

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The Sample Complexity of Online One-Class Collaborative Filtering

May 31, 2017
Reinhard Heckel, Kannan Ramchandran

We consider the online one-class collaborative filtering (CF) problem that consists of recommending items to users over time in an online fashion based on positive ratings only. This problem arises when users respond only occasionally to a recommendation with a positive rating, and never with a negative one. We study the impact of the probability of a user responding to a recommendation, p_f, on the sample complexity, i.e., the number of ratings required to make `good' recommendations, and ask whether receiving positive and negative ratings, instead of positive ratings only, improves the sample complexity. Both questions arise in the design of recommender systems. We introduce a simple probabilistic user model, and analyze the performance of an online user-based CF algorithm. We prove that after an initial cold start phase, where recommendations are invested in exploring the user's preferences, this algorithm makes---up to a fraction of the recommendations required for updating the user's preferences---perfect recommendations. The number of ratings required for the cold start phase is nearly proportional to 1/p_f, and that for updating the user's preferences is essentially independent of p_f. As a consequence we find that, receiving positive and negative ratings instead of only positive ones improves the number of ratings required for initial exploration by a factor of 1/p_f, which can be significant.

* ICML 2017 

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Fiduciary Bandits

May 21, 2019
Gal Bahar, Omer Ben-Porat, Kevin Leyton-Brown, Moshe Tennenholtz

Recommendation systems often face exploration-exploitation tradeoffs: the system can only learn about the desirability of new options by recommending them to some user. Such systems can thus be modeled as multi-armed bandit settings; however, users are self-interested and cannot be made to follow recommendations. We ask whether exploration can nevertheless be performed in a way that scrupulously respects agents' interests---i.e., by a system that acts as a fiduciary. More formally, we introduce a model in which a recommendation system faces an exploration-exploitation tradeoff under the constraint that it can never recommend any action that it knows yields lower reward in expectation than an agent would achieve if it acted alone. Our main contribution is a positive result: an asymptotically optimal, incentive compatible, and ex-ante individually rational recommendation algorithm.

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Online Diverse Learning to Rank from Partial-Click Feedback

Nov 01, 2018
Prakhar Gupta, Gaurush Hiranandani, Harvineet Singh, Branislav Kveton, Zheng Wen, Iftikhar Ahamath Burhanuddin

Learning to rank is an important problem in machine learning and recommender systems. In a recommender system, a user is typically recommended a list of items. Since the user is unlikely to examine the entire recommended list, partial feedback arises naturally. At the same time, diverse recommendations are important because it is challenging to model all tastes of the user in practice. In this paper, we propose the first algorithm for online learning to rank diverse items from partial-click feedback. We assume that the user examines the list of recommended items until the user is attracted by an item, which is clicked, and does not examine the rest of the items. This model of user behavior is known as the cascade model. We propose an online learning algorithm, cascadelsb, for solving our problem. The algorithm actively explores the tastes of the user with the objective of learning to recommend the optimal diverse list. We analyze the algorithm and prove a gap-free upper bound on its n-step regret. We evaluate cascadelsb on both synthetic and real-world datasets, compare it to various baselines, and show that it learns even when our modeling assumptions do not hold exactly.

* The first three authors contributed equally to this work. 24 pages, 4 figures, 1 table 

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Sequential Movie Genre Prediction using Average Transition Probability with Clustering

Nov 04, 2021
Jihyeon Kim, Jinkyung Kim, Jaeyoung Choi

In recent movie recommendations, predicting the user's sequential behavior and suggesting the next movie to watch is one of the most important issues. However, capturing such sequential behavior is not easy because each user's short-term or long-term behavior must be taken into account. For this reason, many research results show that the performance of recommending a specific movie is not very high in a sequential recommendation. In this paper, we propose a cluster-based method for classifying users with similar movie purchase patterns and a movie genre prediction algorithm rather than the movie itself considering their short-term and long-term behaviors. The movie genre prediction does not recommend a specific movie, but it predicts the genre for the next movie to watch in consideration of each user's preference for the movie genre based on the genre included in the movie. Through this, it is possible to provide appropriate guidelines for recommending movies including the genre to users who tend to prefer a specific genre. In particular, in this paper, users with similar genre preferences are organized into clusters to recommend genres, and in clusters that do not have relatively specific tendencies, genre prediction is performed by appropriately trimming genres that are not necessary for recommendation in order to improve performance. We evaluate our method on well-known movie datasets, and qualitatively that it captures personalized dynamics and is able to make meaningful recommendations.

* Submitted to a journal 

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Explainable Restricted Boltzmann Machines for Collaborative Filtering

Jun 22, 2016
Behnoush Abdollahi, Olfa Nasraoui

Most accurate recommender systems are black-box models, hiding the reasoning behind their recommendations. Yet explanations have been shown to increase the user's trust in the system in addition to providing other benefits such as scrutability, meaning the ability to verify the validity of recommendations. This gap between accuracy and transparency or explainability has generated an interest in automated explanation generation methods. Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBM) are accurate models for CF that also lack interpretability. In this paper, we focus on RBM based collaborative filtering recommendations, and further assume the absence of any additional data source, such as item content or user attributes. We thus propose a new Explainable RBM technique that computes the top-n recommendation list from items that are explainable. Experimental results show that our method is effective in generating accurate and explainable recommendations.

* presented at 2016 ICML Workshop on Human Interpretability in Machine Learning (WHI 2016), New York, NY 

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Resolving Conflicts in Clinical Guidelines using Argumentation

Feb 20, 2019
Kristijonas Čyras, Tiago Oliveira

Automatically reasoning with conflicting generic clinical guidelines is a burning issue in patient-centric medical reasoning where patient-specific conditions and goals need to be taken into account. It is even more challenging in the presence of preferences such as patient's wishes and clinician's priorities over goals. We advance a structured argumentation formalism for reasoning with conflicting clinical guidelines, patient-specific information and preferences. Our formalism integrates assumption-based reasoning and goal-driven selection among reasoning outcomes. Specifically, we assume applicability of guideline recommendations concerning the generic goal of patient well-being, resolve conflicts among recommendations using patient's conditions and preferences, and then consider prioritised patient-centered goals to yield non-conflicting, goal-maximising and preference-respecting recommendations. We rely on the state-of-the-art Transition-based Medical Recommendation model for representing guideline recommendations and augment it with context given by the patient's conditions, goals, as well as preferences over recommendations and goals. We establish desirable properties of our approach in terms of sensitivity to recommendation conflicts and patient context.

* Paper accepted for publication at AAAMAS 2019 

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