Many prediction domains, such as ad placement, recommendation, trajectory prediction, and document summarization, require predicting a set or list of options. Such lists are often evaluated using submodular reward functions that measure both quality and diversity. We propose a simple, efficient, and provably near-optimal approach to optimizing such prediction problems based on no-regret learning. Our method leverages a surprising result from online submodular optimization: a single no-regret online learner can compete with an optimal sequence of predictions. Compared to previous work, which either learn a sequence of classifiers or rely on stronger assumptions such as realizability, we ensure both data-efficiency as well as performance guarantees in the fully agnostic setting. Experiments validate the efficiency and applicability of the approach on a wide range of problems including manipulator trajectory optimization, news recommendation and document summarization.
Contextual bandit learning is an increasingly popular approach to optimizing recommender systems via user feedback, but can be slow to converge in practice due to the need for exploring a large feature space. In this paper, we propose a coarse-to-fine hierarchical approach for encoding prior knowledge that drastically reduces the amount of exploration required. Intuitively, user preferences can be reasonably embedded in a coarse low-dimensional feature space that can be explored efficiently, requiring exploration in the high-dimensional space only as necessary. We introduce a bandit algorithm that explores within this coarse-to-fine spectrum, and prove performance guarantees that depend on how well the coarse space captures the user's preferences. We demonstrate substantial improvement over conventional bandit algorithms through extensive simulation as well as a live user study in the setting of personalized news recommendation.
Seven years on from OWL becoming a W3C recommendation, and two years on from the more recent OWL 2 W3C recommendation, OWL has still experienced only patchy uptake on the Web. Although certain OWL features (like owl:sameAs) are very popular, other features of OWL are largely neglected by publishers in the Linked Data world. This may suggest that despite the promise of easy implementations and the proposal of tractable profiles suggested in OWL's second version, there is still no "right" standard fragment for the Linked Data community. In this paper, we (1) analyse uptake of OWL on the Web of Data, (2) gain insights into the OWL fragment that is actually used/usable on the Web, where we arrive at the conclusion that this fragment is likely to be a simplified profile based on OWL RL, (3) propose and discuss such a new fragment, which we call OWL LD (for Linked Data).
Many interesting problems in the Internet industry can be framed as a two-sided marketplace problem. Examples include search applications and recommender systems showing people, jobs, movies, products, restaurants, etc. Incorporating fairness while building such systems is crucial and can have a deep social and economic impact (applications include job recommendations, recruiters searching for candidates, etc.). In this paper, we propose a definition and develop an end-to-end framework for achieving fairness while building such machine learning systems at scale. We extend prior work to develop an optimization framework that can tackle fairness constraints from both the source and destination sides of the marketplace, as well as dynamic aspects of the problem. The framework is flexible enough to adapt to different definitions of fairness and can be implemented in very large-scale settings. We perform simulations to show the efficacy of our approach.
When devising a course of treatment for a patient, doctors often have little quantitative evidence on which to base their decisions, beyond their medical education and published clinical trials. Stanford Health Care alone has millions of electronic medical records (EMRs) that are only just recently being leveraged to inform better treatment recommendations. These data present a unique challenge because they are high-dimensional and observational. Our goal is to make personalized treatment recommendations based on the outcomes for past patients similar to a new patient. We propose and analyze three methods for estimating heterogeneous treatment effects using observational data. Our methods perform well in simulations using a wide variety of treatment effect functions, and we present results of applying the two most promising methods to data from The SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge, from a large randomized trial of a treatment for high blood pressure.
Building on a survey of previous theories of serendipity and creativity, we advance a sequential model of serendipitous occurrences. We distinguish between serendipity as a service and serendipity in the system itself, clarify the role of invention and discovery, and provide a measure for the serendipity potential of a system. While a system can arguably not be guaranteed to be serendipitous, it can have a high potential for serendipity. Practitioners can use these theoretical tools to evaluate a computational system's potential for unexpected behaviour that may have a beneficial outcome. In addition to a qualitative features of serendipity potential, the model also includes quantitative ratings that can guide development work. We show how the model is used in three case studies of existing and hypothetical systems, in the context of evolutionary computing, automated programming, and (next-generation) recommender systems. From this analysis, we extract recommendations for practitioners working with computational serendipity, and outline future directions for research.
Matrix factorization is a widely adopted recommender system technique that fits scalar rating values by dot products of user feature vectors and item feature vectors. However, the formulation of matrix factorization as a scalar fitting problem is not friendly to side information incorporation or multi-task learning. In this paper, we replace the scalar values of the user rating matrix by matrices, and fit the matrix values by matrix products of user feature matrix and item feature matrix. Our framework is friendly to multitask learning and side information incorporation. We use popularity data as side information in our paper in particular to enhance the performance of matrix factorization techniques. In the experiment section, we prove the competence of our method compared with other approaches using both accuracy and fairness metrics. Our framework is an ideal substitute for tensor factorization in context-aware recommendation and many other scenarios.
In search and recommendation, diversifying the multi-aspect search results could help with reducing redundancy, and promoting results that might not be shown otherwise. Many previous methods have been proposed for this task. However, previous methods do not explicitly consider the uniformity of the number of the items' classes, or evenness, which could degrade the search and recommendation quality. To address this problem, we introduce a novel method by adapting the Simpson's Diversity Index from biology, which enables a more effective and efficient quadratic search result diversification algorithm. We also extend the method to balance the diversity between multiple aspects through weighted factors and further improve computational complexity by developing a fast approximation algorithm. We demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method using the openly available Kaggle shoes competition dataset. Our experimental results show that our approach outperforms previous state of the art diversification methods, while reducing computational complexity.
Link prediction is a fundamental challenge in network science. Among various methods, local similarity indices are widely used for their high cost-performance. However, the performance is less robust: for some networks local indices are highly competitive to state-of-the-art algorithms while for some other networks they are very poor. Inspired by techniques developed for recommender systems, we propose an enhancement framework for local indices based on collaborative filtering (CF). Considering the delicate but important difference between personalized recommendation and link prediction, we further propose an improved framework named as self-included collaborative filtering (SCF). The SCF framework significantly improved the accuracy and robustness of well-known local indices. The combination of SCF framework and a simple local index can produce an index with competitive performance and much lower complexity compared with elaborately-designed state-of-the-art algorithms.
Distance metric learning based on triplet loss has been applied with success in a wide range of applications such as face recognition, image retrieval, speaker change detection and recently recommendation with the CML model. However, as we show in this article, CML requires large batches to work reasonably well because of a too simplistic uniform negative sampling strategy for selecting triplets. Due to memory limitations, this makes it difficult to scale in high-dimensional scenarios. To alleviate this problem, we propose here a 2-stage negative sampling strategy which finds triplets that are highly informative for learning. Our strategy allows CML to work effectively in terms of accuracy and popularity bias, even when the batch size is an order of magnitude smaller than what would be needed with the default uniform sampling. We demonstrate the suitability of the proposed strategy for recommendation and exhibit consistent positive results across various datasets.