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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Approximate Nearest Neighbor Search under Neural Similarity Metric for Large-Scale Recommendation

Feb 28, 2022
Rihan Chen, Bin Liu, Han Zhu, Yaoxuan Wang, Qi Li, Buting Ma, Qingbo Hua, Jun Jiang, Yunlong Xu, Hongbo Deng, Bo Zheng

Model-based methods for recommender systems have been studied extensively for years. Modern recommender systems usually resort to 1) representation learning models which define user-item preference as the distance between their embedding representations, and 2) embedding-based Approximate Nearest Neighbor (ANN) search to tackle the efficiency problem introduced by large-scale corpus. While providing efficient retrieval, the embedding-based retrieval pattern also limits the model capacity since the form of user-item preference measure is restricted to the distance between their embedding representations. However, for other more precise user-item preference measures, e.g., preference scores directly derived from a deep neural network, they are computationally intractable because of the lack of an efficient retrieval method, and an exhaustive search for all user-item pairs is impractical. In this paper, we propose a novel method to extend ANN search to arbitrary matching functions, e.g., a deep neural network. Our main idea is to perform a greedy walk with a matching function in a similarity graph constructed from all items. To solve the problem that the similarity measures of graph construction and user-item matching function are heterogeneous, we propose a pluggable adversarial training task to ensure the graph search with arbitrary matching function can achieve fairly high precision. Experimental results in both open source and industry datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. The proposed method has been fully deployed in the Taobao display advertising platform and brings a considerable advertising revenue increase. We also summarize our detailed experiences in deployment in this paper.

* 10 pages, under review of SIGKDD-2022 

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Fairness-Aware Ranking in Search & Recommendation Systems with Application to LinkedIn Talent Search

Apr 30, 2019
Sahin Cem Geyik, Stuart Ambler, Krishnaram Kenthapadi

Recently, policymakers, regulators, and advocates have raised awareness about the ethical, policy, and legal challenges posed by machine learning and data-driven systems. In particular, they have expressed concerns about their potentially discriminatory impact, for example, due to inadvertent encoding of bias into automated decisions. For search and recommendation systems, our goal is to understand whether there is bias in the underlying machine learning models, and devise techniques to mitigate the bias. This paper presents a framework for quantifying and mitigating algorithmic bias in mechanisms designed for ranking individuals, typically used as part of web-scale search and recommendation systems. We first propose complementary measures to quantify bias with respect to protected attributes such as gender and age. We then present algorithms for computing fairness-aware re-ranking of results towards mitigating algorithmic bias. Our algorithms seek to achieve a desired distribution of top ranked results with respect to one or more protected attributes. We show that such a framework can be utilized to achieve fairness criteria such as equality of opportunity and demographic parity depending on the choice of the desired distribution. We evaluate the proposed algorithms via extensive simulations and study the effect of fairness-aware ranking on both bias and utility measures. We finally present the online A/B testing results from applying our framework towards representative ranking in LinkedIn Talent Search. Our approach resulted in tremendous improvement in the fairness metrics without affecting the business metrics, which paved the way for deployment to 100% of LinkedIn Recruiter users worldwide. Ours is the first large-scale deployed framework for ensuring fairness in the hiring domain, with the potential positive impact for more than 575M LinkedIn members.

* This paper has been accepted for publication at ACM KDD 2019 

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Attention over Self-attention:Intention-aware Re-ranking with Dynamic Transformer Encoders for Recommendation

Jan 14, 2022
Zhuoyi Lin, Sheng Zang, Rundong Wang, Zhu Sun, Chi Xu, Chee-Keong Kwoh

Re-ranking models refine the item recommendation list generated by the prior global ranking model with intra-item relationships. However, most existing re-ranking solutions refine recommendation list based on the implicit feedback with a shared re-ranking model, which regrettably ignore the intra-item relationships under diverse user intentions. In this paper, we propose a novel Intention-aware Re-ranking Model with Dynamic Transformer Encoder (RAISE), aiming to perform user-specific prediction for each target user based on her intentions. Specifically, we first propose to mine latent user intentions from text reviews with an intention discovering module (IDM). By differentiating the importance of review information with a co-attention network, the latent user intention can be explicitly modeled for each user-item pair. We then introduce a dynamic transformer encoder (DTE) to capture user-specific intra-item relationships among item candidates by seamlessly accommodating the learnt latent user intentions via IDM. As such, RAISE is able to perform user-specific prediction without increasing the depth (number of blocks) and width (number of heads) of the prediction model. Empirical study on four public datasets shows the superiority of our proposed RAISE, with up to 13.95%, 12.30%, and 13.03% relative improvements evaluated by Precision, MAP, and NDCG respectively.


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When Multi-Level Meets Multi-Interest: A Multi-Grained Neural Model for Sequential Recommendation

May 03, 2022
Yu Tian, Jianxin Chang, Yannan Niu, Yang Song, Chenliang Li

Sequential recommendation aims at identifying the next item that is preferred by a user based on their behavioral history. Compared to conventional sequential models that leverage attention mechanisms and RNNs, recent efforts mainly follow two directions for improvement: multi-interest learning and graph convolutional aggregation. Specifically, multi-interest methods such as ComiRec and MIMN, focus on extracting different interests for a user by performing historical item clustering, while graph convolution methods including TGSRec and SURGE elect to refine user preferences based on multi-level correlations between historical items. Unfortunately, neither of them realizes that these two types of solutions can mutually complement each other, by aggregating multi-level user preference to achieve more precise multi-interest extraction for a better recommendation. To this end, in this paper, we propose a unified multi-grained neural model(named MGNM) via a combination of multi-interest learning and graph convolutional aggregation. Concretely, MGNM first learns the graph structure and information aggregation paths of the historical items for a user. It then performs graph convolution to derive item representations in an iterative fashion, in which the complex preferences at different levels can be well captured. Afterwards, a novel sequential capsule network is proposed to inject the sequential patterns into the multi-interest extraction process, leading to a more precise interest learning in a multi-grained manner.

* 10 pages, 7 figures 

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Transition Information Enhanced Disentangled Graph Neural Networks for Session-based Recommendation

Apr 05, 2022
Ansong Li

Session-based recommendation is a practical recommendation task that predicts the next item based on an anonymous behavior sequence, and its performance relies heavily on the transition information between items in the sequence. The SOTA methods in SBR employ GNN to model neighboring item transitions from global (i.e, other sessions) and local (i.e, current session) contexts. However, most existing methods treat neighbors from different sessions equally without considering that the neighbor items from different sessions may share similar features with the target item on different aspects and may have different contributions. In other words, they have not explored finer-granularity transition information between items in the global context, leading to sub-optimal performance. In this paper, we fill this gap by proposing a novel Transition Information Enhanced Disentangled Graph Neural Network (TIE-DGNN) model to capture finer-granular transition information between items and try to interpret the reason of the transition by modeling the various factors of the item. Specifically, we propose a position-aware global graph, which utilizes the relative position information to model the neighboring item transition. Then, we slice item embeddings into blocks, each of which represents a factor, and use disentangling module to separately learn the factor embeddings over the global graph. For local context, we train item embeddings by using attention mechanisms to capture transition information from the current session. To this end, our model considers two levels of transition information. Especially in global text, we not only consider finer-granularity transition information between items but also take user intents at factor-level into account to interpret the key reason for the transition. Extensive experiments on three datasets demonstrate the superiority of our method over the SOTA methods.


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Learning to Expand Audience via Meta Hybrid Experts and Critics for Recommendation and Advertising

May 31, 2021
Yongchun Zhu, Yudan Liu, Ruobing Xie, Fuzhen Zhuang, Xiaobo Hao, Kaikai Ge, Xu Zhang, Leyu Lin, Juan Cao

In recommender systems and advertising platforms, marketers always want to deliver products, contents, or advertisements to potential audiences over media channels such as display, video, or social. Given a set of audiences or customers (seed users), the audience expansion technique (look-alike modeling) is a promising solution to identify more potential audiences, who are similar to the seed users and likely to finish the business goal of the target campaign. However, look-alike modeling faces two challenges: (1) In practice, a company could run hundreds of marketing campaigns to promote various contents within completely different categories every day, e.g., sports, politics, society. Thus, it is difficult to utilize a common method to expand audiences for all campaigns. (2) The seed set of a certain campaign could only cover limited users. Therefore, a customized approach based on such a seed set is likely to be overfitting. In this paper, to address these challenges, we propose a novel two-stage framework named Meta Hybrid Experts and Critics (MetaHeac) which has been deployed in WeChat Look-alike System. In the offline stage, a general model which can capture the relationships among various tasks is trained from a meta-learning perspective on all existing campaign tasks. In the online stage, for a new campaign, a customized model is learned with the given seed set based on the general model. According to both offline and online experiments, the proposed MetaHeac shows superior effectiveness for both content marketing campaigns in recommender systems and advertising campaigns in advertising platforms. Besides, MetaHeac has been successfully deployed in WeChat for the promotion of both contents and advertisements, leading to great improvement in the quality of marketing. The code has been available at \url{https://github.com/easezyc/MetaHeac}.

* accepted by KDD2021 

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Top-N-Rank: A Scalable List-wise Ranking Method for Recommender Systems

Dec 19, 2018
Junjie Liang, Jinlong Hu, Shoubin Dong, Vasant Honavar

We propose Top-N-Rank, a novel family of list-wise Learning-to-Rank models for reliably recommending the N top-ranked items. The proposed models optimize a variant of the widely used discounted cumulative gain (DCG) objective function which differs from DCG in two important aspects: (i) It limits the evaluation of DCG only on the top N items in the ranked lists, thereby eliminating the impact of low-ranked items on the learned ranking function; and (ii) it incorporates weights that allow the model to leverage multiple types of implicit feedback with differing levels of reliability or trustworthiness. Because the resulting objective function is non-smooth and hence challenging to optimize, we consider two smooth approximations of the objective function, using the traditional sigmoid function and the rectified linear unit (ReLU). We propose a family of learning-to-rank algorithms (Top-N-Rank) that work with any smooth objective function. Then, a more efficient variant, Top-N-Rank.ReLU, is introduced, which effectively exploits the properties of ReLU function to reduce the computational complexity of Top-N-Rank from quadratic to linear in the average number of items rated by users. The results of our experiments using two widely used benchmarks, namely, the MovieLens data set and the Amazon Video Games data set demonstrate that: (i) The `top-N truncation' of the objective function substantially improves the ranking quality of the top N recommendations; (ii) using the ReLU for smoothing the objective function yields significant improvement in both ranking quality as well as runtime as compared to using the sigmoid; and (iii) Top-N-Rank.ReLU substantially outperforms the well-performing list-wise ranking methods in terms of ranking quality.

* paper accepted by the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Big Data 

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MetaBalance: Improving Multi-Task Recommendations via Adapting Gradient Magnitudes of Auxiliary Tasks

Mar 14, 2022
Yun He, Xue Feng, Cheng Cheng, Geng Ji, Yunsong Guo, James Caverlee

In many personalized recommendation scenarios, the generalization ability of a target task can be improved via learning with additional auxiliary tasks alongside this target task on a multi-task network. However, this method often suffers from a serious optimization imbalance problem. On the one hand, one or more auxiliary tasks might have a larger influence than the target task and even dominate the network weights, resulting in worse recommendation accuracy for the target task. On the other hand, the influence of one or more auxiliary tasks might be too weak to assist the target task. More challenging is that this imbalance dynamically changes throughout the training process and varies across the parts of the same network. We propose a new method: MetaBalance to balance auxiliary losses via directly manipulating their gradients w.r.t the shared parameters in the multi-task network. Specifically, in each training iteration and adaptively for each part of the network, the gradient of an auxiliary loss is carefully reduced or enlarged to have a closer magnitude to the gradient of the target loss, preventing auxiliary tasks from being so strong that dominate the target task or too weak to help the target task. Moreover, the proximity between the gradient magnitudes can be flexibly adjusted to adapt MetaBalance to different scenarios. The experiments show that our proposed method achieves a significant improvement of 8.34% in terms of [email protected] upon the strongest baseline on two real-world datasets. The code of our approach can be found at here: https://github.com/facebookresearch/MetaBalance

* Accepted by the WebConf 2022 

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Distributed Vector Representation Of Shopping Items, The Customer And Shopping Cart To Build A Three Fold Recommendation System

May 17, 2017
Bibek Behera, Manoj Joshi, Abhilash KK, Mohammad Ansari Ismail

The main idea of this paper is to represent shopping items through vectors because these vectors act as the base for building em- beddings for customers and shopping carts. Also, these vectors are input to the mathematical models that act as either a recommendation engine or help in targeting potential customers. We have used exponential family embeddings as the tool to construct two basic vectors - product embeddings and context vectors. Using the basic vectors, we build combined embeddings, trip embeddings and customer embeddings. Combined embeddings mix linguistic properties of product names with their shopping patterns. The customer embeddings establish an understand- ing of the buying pattern of customers in a group and help in building customer profile. For example a customer profile can represent customers frequently buying pet-food. Identifying such profiles can help us bring out offers and discounts. Similarly, trip embeddings are used to build trip profiles. People happen to buy similar set of products in a trip and hence their trip embeddings can be used to predict the next product they would like to buy. This is a novel technique and the first of its kind to make recommendation using product, trip and customer embeddings.

* Cicling 2017 

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