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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Dynamic Poisson Factorization

Sep 15, 2015
Laurent Charlin, Rajesh Ranganath, James McInerney, David M. Blei

Models for recommender systems use latent factors to explain the preferences and behaviors of users with respect to a set of items (e.g., movies, books, academic papers). Typically, the latent factors are assumed to be static and, given these factors, the observed preferences and behaviors of users are assumed to be generated without order. These assumptions limit the explorative and predictive capabilities of such models, since users' interests and item popularity may evolve over time. To address this, we propose dPF, a dynamic matrix factorization model based on the recent Poisson factorization model for recommendations. dPF models the time evolving latent factors with a Kalman filter and the actions with Poisson distributions. We derive a scalable variational inference algorithm to infer the latent factors. Finally, we demonstrate dPF on 10 years of user click data from arXiv.org, one of the largest repository of scientific papers and a formidable source of information about the behavior of scientists. Empirically we show performance improvement over both static and, more recently proposed, dynamic recommendation models. We also provide a thorough exploration of the inferred posteriors over the latent variables.

* RecSys 2015 

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Markov Decision Process modeled with Bandits for Sequential Decision Making in Linear-flow

Jul 01, 2021
Wenjun Zeng, Yi Liu

In membership/subscriber acquisition and retention, we sometimes need to recommend marketing content for multiple pages in sequence. Different from general sequential decision making process, the use cases have a simpler flow where customers per seeing recommended content on each page can only return feedback as moving forward in the process or dropping from it until a termination state. We refer to this type of problems as sequential decision making in linear--flow. We propose to formulate the problem as an MDP with Bandits where Bandits are employed to model the transition probability matrix. At recommendation time, we use Thompson sampling (TS) to sample the transition probabilities and allocate the best series of actions with analytical solution through exact dynamic programming. The way that we formulate the problem allows us to leverage TS's efficiency in balancing exploration and exploitation and Bandit's convenience in modeling actions' incompatibility. In the simulation study, we observe the proposed MDP with Bandits algorithm outperforms Q-learning with $\epsilon$-greedy and decreasing $\epsilon$, independent Bandits, and interaction Bandits. We also find the proposed algorithm's performance is the most robust to changes in the across-page interdependence strength.

* Accepted by 2021 KDD Multi-Armed Bandits and Reinforcement Learning Workshop: https://sites.google.com/view/marble-kdd 

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A Novel User Representation Paradigm for Making Personalized Candidate Retrieval

Jul 15, 2019
Zheng Liu, Yu Xing, Jianxun Lian, Defu Lian, Ziyao Li, Xing Xie

Candidate retrieval is a crucial part in recommendation system, where quality candidates need to be selected in realtime for user's recommendation request. Conventional methods would make use of feature similarity directly for highly scalable retrieval, yet their retrieval quality can be limited due to inferior user interest modeling. In contrast, deep learning-based recommenders are precise in modeling user interest, but they are difficult to be scaled for efficient candidate retrieval. In this work, a novel paradigm Synthonet is proposed for both precise and scalable candidate retrieval. With Synthonet, user is represented as a compact vector known as retrieval key. By developing an Actor-Critic learning framework, the generation of retrieval key is optimally conducted, such that the similarity between retrieval key and item's representation will accurately reflect user's interest towards the corresponding item. Consequently, quality candidates can be acquired in realtime on top of highly efficient similarity search methods. Comprehensive empirical studies are carried out for the verification of our proposed methods, where consistent and remarkable improvements are achieved over a series of competitive baselines, including representative variations on metric learning.


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MedGCN: Graph Convolutional Networks for Multiple Medical Tasks

Mar 31, 2019
Chengsheng Mao, Liang Yao, Yuan Luo

Laboratory testing and medication prescription are two of the most important routines in daily clinical practice. Developing an artificial intelligence system that can automatically make lab test imputations and medication recommendations can save cost on potentially redundant lab tests and inform physicians in more effective prescription. We present an intelligent model that can automatically recommend the patients' medications based on their incomplete lab tests, and can even accurately estimate the lab values that have not been taken. We model the complex relations between multiple types of medical entities with their inherent features in a heterogeneous graph. Then we learn a distributed representation for each entity in the graph based on graph convolutional networks to make the representations integrate information from multiple types of entities. Since the entity representations incorporate multiple types of medical information, they can be used for multiple medical tasks. In our experiments, we construct a graph to associate patients, encounters, lab tests and medications, and conduct the two tasks: medication recommendation and lab test imputation. The experimental results demonstrate that our model can outperform the state-of-the-art models in both tasks.


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Automatic Generation of Natural Language Explanations

Jul 04, 2017
Felipe Costa, Sixun Ouyang, Peter Dolog, Aonghus Lawlor

An important task for recommender system is to generate explanations according to a user's preferences. Most of the current methods for explainable recommendations use structured sentences to provide descriptions along with the recommendations they produce. However, those methods have neglected the review-oriented way of writing a text, even though it is known that these reviews have a strong influence over user's decision. In this paper, we propose a method for the automatic generation of natural language explanations, for predicting how a user would write about an item, based on user ratings from different items' features. We design a character-level recurrent neural network (RNN) model, which generates an item's review explanations using long-short term memories (LSTM). The model generates text reviews given a combination of the review and ratings score that express opinions about different factors or aspects of an item. Our network is trained on a sub-sample from the large real-world dataset BeerAdvocate. Our empirical evaluation using natural language processing metrics shows the generated text's quality is close to a real user written review, identifying negation, misspellings, and domain specific vocabulary.

* 7 pages, 5 figures, 2nd workshop on Deep Learning for Recommender Systems 

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VBPR: Visual Bayesian Personalized Ranking from Implicit Feedback

Oct 06, 2015
Ruining He, Julian McAuley

Modern recommender systems model people and items by discovering or `teasing apart' the underlying dimensions that encode the properties of items and users' preferences toward them. Critically, such dimensions are uncovered based on user feedback, often in implicit form (such as purchase histories, browsing logs, etc.); in addition, some recommender systems make use of side information, such as product attributes, temporal information, or review text. However one important feature that is typically ignored by existing personalized recommendation and ranking methods is the visual appearance of the items being considered. In this paper we propose a scalable factorization model to incorporate visual signals into predictors of people's opinions, which we apply to a selection of large, real-world datasets. We make use of visual features extracted from product images using (pre-trained) deep networks, on top of which we learn an additional layer that uncovers the visual dimensions that best explain the variation in people's feedback. This not only leads to significantly more accurate personalized ranking methods, but also helps to alleviate cold start issues, and qualitatively to analyze the visual dimensions that influence people's opinions.

* AAAI'16 

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Directional Multivariate Ranking

Jun 09, 2020
Nan Wang, Hongning Wang

User-provided multi-aspect evaluations manifest users' detailed feedback on the recommended items and enable fine-grained understanding of their preferences. Extensive studies have shown that modeling such data greatly improves the effectiveness and explainability of the recommendations. However, as ranking is essential in recommendation, there is no principled solution yet for collectively generating multiple item rankings over different aspects. In this work, we propose a directional multi-aspect ranking criterion to enable a holistic ranking of items with respect to multiple aspects. Specifically, we view multi-aspect evaluation as an integral effort from a user that forms a vector of his/her preferences over aspects. Our key insight is that the direction of the difference vector between two multi-aspect preference vectors reveals the pairwise order of comparison. Hence, it is necessary for a multi-aspect ranking criterion to preserve the observed directions from such pairwise comparisons. We further derive a complete solution for the multi-aspect ranking problem based on a probabilistic multivariate tensor factorization model. Comprehensive experimental analysis on a large TripAdvisor multi-aspect rating dataset and a Yelp review text dataset confirms the effectiveness of our solution.

* Accepted as a full research paper in KDD'20 

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Bootstrapping Complete The Look at Pinterest

Jun 29, 2020
Eileen Li, Eric Kim, Andrew Zhai, Josh Beal, Kunlong Gu

Putting together an ideal outfit is a process that involves creativity and style intuition. This makes it a particularly difficult task to automate. Existing styling products generally involve human specialists and a highly curated set of fashion items. In this paper, we will describe how we bootstrapped the Complete The Look (CTL) system at Pinterest. This is a technology that aims to learn the subjective task of "style compatibility" in order to recommend complementary items that complete an outfit. In particular, we want to show recommendations from other categories that are compatible with an item of interest. For example, what are some heels that go well with this cocktail dress? We will introduce our outfit dataset of over 1 million outfits and 4 million objects, a subset of which we will make available to the research community, and describe the pipeline used to obtain and refresh this dataset. Furthermore, we will describe how we evaluate this subjective task and compare model performance across multiple training methods. Lastly, we will share our lessons going from experimentation to working prototype, and how to mitigate failure modes in the production environment. Our work represents one of the first examples of an industrial-scale solution for compatibility-based fashion recommendation.

* 9 pages, 12 figures, To be published in KDD '20 

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Gaussian Material Synthesis

Apr 23, 2018
Károly Zsolnai-Fehér, Peter Wonka, Michael Wimmer

We present a learning-based system for rapid mass-scale material synthesis that is useful for novice and expert users alike. The user preferences are learned via Gaussian Process Regression and can be easily sampled for new recommendations. Typically, each recommendation takes 40-60 seconds to render with global illumination, which makes this process impracticable for real-world workflows. Our neural network eliminates this bottleneck by providing high-quality image predictions in real time, after which it is possible to pick the desired materials from a gallery and assign them to a scene in an intuitive manner. Workflow timings against Disney's "principled" shader reveal that our system scales well with the number of sought materials, thus empowering even novice users to generate hundreds of high-quality material models without any expertise in material modeling. Similarly, expert users experience a significant decrease in the total modeling time when populating a scene with materials. Furthermore, our proposed solution also offers controllable recommendations and a novel latent space variant generation step to enable the real-time fine-tuning of materials without requiring any domain expertise.

* ACM Transactions on Graphics (SIGGRAPH 2018) 37 (4) 
* Supplementary data and source code: https://users.cg.tuwien.ac.at/zsolnai/gfx/gaussian-material-synthesis/ 

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