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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Frequency-aware SGD for Efficient Embedding Learning with Provable Benefits

Oct 24, 2021
Yan Li, Dhruv Choudhary, Xiaohan Wei, Baichuan Yuan, Bhargav Bhushanam, Tuo Zhao, Guanghui Lan

Embedding learning has found widespread applications in recommendation systems and natural language modeling, among other domains. To learn quality embeddings efficiently, adaptive learning rate algorithms have demonstrated superior empirical performance over SGD, largely accredited to their token-dependent learning rate. However, the underlying mechanism for the efficiency of token-dependent learning rate remains underexplored. We show that incorporating frequency information of tokens in the embedding learning problems leads to provably efficient algorithms, and demonstrate that common adaptive algorithms implicitly exploit the frequency information to a large extent. Specifically, we propose (Counter-based) Frequency-aware Stochastic Gradient Descent, which applies a frequency-dependent learning rate for each token, and exhibits provable speed-up compared to SGD when the token distribution is imbalanced. Empirically, we show the proposed algorithms are able to improve or match adaptive algorithms on benchmark recommendation tasks and a large-scale industrial recommendation system, closing the performance gap between SGD and adaptive algorithms. Our results are the first to show token-dependent learning rate provably improves convergence for non-convex embedding learning problems.


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Knowledge Infused Policy Gradients with Upper Confidence Bound for Relational Bandits

Jun 25, 2021
Kaushik Roy, Qi Zhang, Manas Gaur, Amit Sheth

Contextual Bandits find important use cases in various real-life scenarios such as online advertising, recommendation systems, healthcare, etc. However, most of the algorithms use flat feature vectors to represent context whereas, in the real world, there is a varying number of objects and relations among them to model in the context. For example, in a music recommendation system, the user context contains what music they listen to, which artists create this music, the artist albums, etc. Adding richer relational context representations also introduces a much larger context space making exploration-exploitation harder. To improve the efficiency of exploration-exploitation knowledge about the context can be infused to guide the exploration-exploitation strategy. Relational context representations allow a natural way for humans to specify knowledge owing to their descriptive nature. We propose an adaptation of Knowledge Infused Policy Gradients to the Contextual Bandit setting and a novel Knowledge Infused Policy Gradients Upper Confidence Bound algorithm and perform an experimental analysis of a simulated music recommendation dataset and various real-life datasets where expert knowledge can drastically reduce the total regret and where it cannot.

* Accepted for publication in the research track at ECML-PKDD 2021 

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Learning User Preferences in Non-Stationary Environments

Jan 29, 2021
Wasim Huleihel, Soumyabrata Pal, Ofer Shayevitz

Recommendation systems often use online collaborative filtering (CF) algorithms to identify items a given user likes over time, based on ratings that this user and a large number of other users have provided in the past. This problem has been studied extensively when users' preferences do not change over time (static case); an assumption that is often violated in practical settings. In this paper, we introduce a novel model for online non-stationary recommendation systems which allows for temporal uncertainties in the users' preferences. For this model, we propose a user-based CF algorithm, and provide a theoretical analysis of its achievable reward. Compared to related non-stationary multi-armed bandit literature, the main fundamental difficulty in our model lies in the fact that variations in the preferences of a certain user may affect the recommendations for other users severely. We also test our algorithm over real-world datasets, showing its effectiveness in real-world applications. One of the main surprising observations in our experiments is the fact our algorithm outperforms other static algorithms even when preferences do not change over time. This hints toward the general conclusion that in practice, dynamic algorithms, such as the one we propose, might be beneficial even in stationary environments.

* 31 pages, 3 figures 

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A Comparative Quantitative Analysis of Contemporary Big Data Clustering Algorithms for Market Segmentation in Hospitality Industry

Sep 18, 2017
Avishek Bose, Arslan Munir, Neda Shabani

The hospitality industry is one of the data-rich industries that receives huge Volumes of data streaming at high Velocity with considerably Variety, Veracity, and Variability. These properties make the data analysis in the hospitality industry a big data problem. Meeting the customers' expectations is a key factor in the hospitality industry to grasp the customers' loyalty. To achieve this goal, marketing professionals in this industry actively look for ways to utilize their data in the best possible manner and advance their data analytic solutions, such as identifying a unique market segmentation clustering and developing a recommendation system. In this paper, we present a comprehensive literature review of existing big data clustering algorithms and their advantages and disadvantages for various use cases. We implement the existing big data clustering algorithms and provide a quantitative comparison of the performance of different clustering algorithms for different scenarios. We also present our insights and recommendations regarding the suitability of different big data clustering algorithms for different use cases. These recommendations will be helpful for hoteliers in selecting the appropriate market segmentation clustering algorithm for different clustering datasets to improve the customer experience and maximize the hotel revenue.


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Bursting Scientific Filter Bubbles: Boosting Innovation via Novel Author Discovery

Sep 10, 2021
Jason Portenoy, Marissa Radensky, Jevin West, Eric Horvitz, Daniel Weld, Tom Hope

Isolated silos of scientific research and the growing challenge of information overload limit awareness across the literature and hinder innovation. Algorithmic curation and recommendation, which often prioritize relevance, can further reinforce these informational "filter bubbles." In response, we describe Bridger, a system for facilitating discovery of scholars and their work, to explore design tradeoffs between relevant and novel recommendations. We construct a faceted representation of authors with information gleaned from their papers and inferred author personas, and use it to develop an approach that locates commonalities ("bridges") and contrasts between scientists -- retrieving partially similar authors rather than aiming for strict similarity. In studies with computer science researchers, this approach helps users discover authors considered useful for generating novel research directions, outperforming a state-of-art neural model. In addition to recommending new content, we also demonstrate an approach for displaying it in a manner that boosts researchers' ability to understand the work of authors with whom they are unfamiliar. Finally, our analysis reveals that Bridger connects authors who have different citation profiles, publish in different venues, and are more distant in social co-authorship networks, raising the prospect of bridging diverse communities and facilitating discovery.


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A Linear Bandit for Seasonal Environments

Apr 28, 2020
Giuseppe Di Benedetto, Vito Bellini, Giovanni Zappella

Contextual bandit algorithms are extremely popular and widely used in recommendation systems to provide online personalised recommendations. A recurrent assumption is the stationarity of the reward function, which is rather unrealistic in most of the real-world applications. In the music recommendation scenario for instance, people's music taste can abruptly change during certain events, such as Halloween or Christmas, and revert to the previous music taste soon after. We would therefore need an algorithm which can promptly react to these changes. Moreover, we would like to leverage already observed rewards collected during different stationary periods which can potentially reoccur, without the need of restarting the learning process from scratch. A growing literature has addressed the problem of reward's non-stationarity, providing algorithms that could quickly adapt to the changing environment. However, up to our knowledge, there is no algorithm which deals with seasonal changes of the reward function. Here we present a contextual bandit algorithm which detects and adapts to abrupt changes of the reward function and leverages previous estimations whenever the environment falls back to a previously observed state. We show that the proposed method can outperform state-of-the-art algorithms for non-stationary environments. We ran our experiment on both synthetic and real datasets.


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Practical Annotation Strategies for Question Answering Datasets

Mar 06, 2020
Bernhard Kratzwald, Xiang Yue, Huan Sun, Stefan Feuerriegel

Annotating datasets for question answering (QA) tasks is very costly, as it requires intensive manual labor and often domain-specific knowledge. Yet strategies for annotating QA datasets in a cost-effective manner are scarce. To provide a remedy for practitioners, our objective is to develop heuristic rules for annotating a subset of questions, so that the annotation cost is reduced while maintaining both in- and out-of-domain performance. For this, we conduct a large-scale analysis in order to derive practical recommendations. First, we demonstrate experimentally that more training samples contribute often only to a higher in-domain test-set performance, but do not help the model in generalizing to unseen datasets. Second, we develop a model-guided annotation strategy: it makes a recommendation with regard to which subset of samples should be annotated. Its effectiveness is demonstrated in a case study based on domain customization of QA to a clinical setting. Here, remarkably, annotating a stratified subset with only 1.2% of the original training set achieves 97.7% of the performance as if the complete dataset was annotated. Hence, the labeling effort can be reduced immensely. Altogether, our work fulfills a demand in practice when labeling budgets are limited and where thus recommendations are needed for annotating QA datasets more cost-effectively.


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Addressing the Item Cold-start Problem by Attribute-driven Active Learning

May 23, 2018
Yu Zhu, Jinhao Lin, Shibi He, Beidou Wang, Ziyu Guan, Haifeng Liu, Deng Cai

In recommender systems, cold-start issues are situations where no previous events, e.g. ratings, are known for certain users or items. In this paper, we focus on the item cold-start problem. Both content information (e.g. item attributes) and initial user ratings are valuable for seizing users' preferences on a new item. However, previous methods for the item cold-start problem either 1) incorporate content information into collaborative filtering to perform hybrid recommendation, or 2) actively select users to rate the new item without considering content information and then do collaborative filtering. In this paper, we propose a novel recommendation scheme for the item cold-start problem by leverage both active learning and items' attribute information. Specifically, we design useful user selection criteria based on items' attributes and users' rating history, and combine the criteria in an optimization framework for selecting users. By exploiting the feedback ratings, users' previous ratings and items' attributes, we then generate accurate rating predictions for the other unselected users. Experimental results on two real-world datasets show the superiority of our proposed method over traditional methods.

* 14 pages, 7 figures, 9 tables. Submitted to TKDE 

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Self-Growing Spatial Graph Network for Context-Aware Pedestrian Trajectory Prediction

Dec 21, 2020
Sirin Haddad, Siew-Kei Lam

Pedestrian trajectory prediction is an active research area with recent works undertaken to embed accurate models of pedestrians social interactions and their contextual compliance into dynamic spatial graphs. However, existing works rely on spatial assumptions about the scene and dynamics, which entails a significant challenge to adapt the graph structure in unknown environments for an online system. In addition, there is a lack of assessment approach for the relational modeling impact on prediction performance. To fill this gap, we propose Social Trajectory Recommender-Gated Graph Recurrent Neighborhood Network, (STR-GGRNN), which uses data-driven adaptive online neighborhood recommendation based on the contextual scene features and pedestrian visual cues. The neighborhood recommendation is achieved by online Nonnegative Matrix Factorization (NMF) to construct the graph adjacency matrices for predicting the pedestrians' trajectories. Experiments based on widely-used datasets show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art. Our best performing model achieves 12 cm ADE and $\sim$15 cm FDE on ETH-UCY dataset. The proposed method takes only 0.49 seconds when sampling a total of 20K future trajectories per frame.


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