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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Recommending Dream Jobs in a Biased Real World

May 10, 2019
Nadia Fawaz

Machine learning models learn what we teach them to learn. Machine learning is at the heart of recommender systems. If a machine learning model is trained on biased data, the resulting recommender system may reflect the biases in its recommendations. Biases arise at different stages in a recommender system, from existing societal biases in the data such as the professional gender gap, to biases introduced by the data collection or modeling processes. These biases impact the performance of various components of recommender systems, from offline training, to evaluation and online serving of recommendations in production systems. Specific techniques can help reduce bias at each stage of a recommender system. Reducing bias in our recommender systems is crucial to successfully recommending dream jobs to hundreds of millions members worldwide, while being true to LinkedIn's vision: "To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce".

* Grace Hopper Conference, GHC 2017 
* Accepted and presented at Grace Hopper Conference, GHC 2017 

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Semantic Modeling for Food Recommendation Explanations

May 04, 2021
Ishita Padhiar, Oshani Seneviratne, Shruthi Chari, Daniel Gruen, Deborah L. McGuinness

With the increased use of AI methods to provide recommendations in the health, specifically in the food dietary recommendation space, there is also an increased need for explainability of those recommendations. Such explanations would benefit users of recommendation systems by empowering them with justifications for following the system's suggestions. We present the Food Explanation Ontology (FEO) that provides a formalism for modeling explanations to users for food-related recommendations. FEO models food recommendations, using concepts from the explanation domain to create responses to user questions about food recommendations they receive from AI systems such as personalized knowledge base question answering systems. FEO uses a modular, extensible structure that lends itself to a variety of explanations while still preserving important semantic details to accurately represent explanations of food recommendations. In order to evaluate this system, we used a set of competency questions derived from explanation types present in literature that are relevant to food recommendations. Our motivation with the use of FEO is to empower users to make decisions about their health, fully equipped with an understanding of the AI recommender systems as they relate to user questions, by providing reasoning behind their recommendations in the form of explanations.

* 7 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, 3 listings 

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Performing Hybrid Recommendation in Intermodal Transportation-the FTMarket System's Recommendation Module

Sep 12, 2009
Alexis Lazanas

Diverse recommendation techniques have been already proposed and encapsulated into several e-business applications, aiming to perform a more accurate evaluation of the existing information and accordingly augment the assistance provided to the users involved. This paper reports on the development and integration of a recommendation module in an agent-based transportation transactions management system. The module is built according to a novel hybrid recommendation technique, which combines the advantages of collaborative filtering and knowledge-based approaches. The proposed technique and supporting module assist customers in considering in detail alternative transportation transactions that satisfy their requests, as well as in evaluating completed transactions. The related services are invoked through a software agent that constructs the appropriate knowledge rules and performs a synthesis of the recommendation policy.

* A. Lazanas"Performing Hybrid Recommendation in Intermodal Transportation-the FTMarket System's Recommendation Module ",International Journal of Computer Science Issues (IJCSI), Volume 3, pp24-34, August 2009 
* International Journal of Computer Science Issues (IJCSI), Volume 3, pp24-34, August 2009 

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End-to-end Learnable Diversity-aware News Recommendation

Apr 01, 2022
Chuhan Wu, Fangzhao Wu, Tao Qi, Yongfeng Huang

Diversity is an important factor in providing high-quality personalized news recommendations. However, most existing news recommendation methods only aim to optimize recommendation accuracy while ignoring diversity. Reranking is a widely used post-processing technique to promote the diversity of top recommendation results. However, the recommendation model is not perfect and errors may be propagated and amplified in a cascaded recommendation algorithm. In addition, the recommendation model itself is not diversity-aware, making it difficult to achieve a good tradeoff between recommendation accuracy and diversity. In this paper, we propose a news recommendation approach named LeaDivRec, which is a fully learnable model that can generate diversity-aware news recommendations in an end-to-end manner. Different from existing news recommendation methods that are usually based on point- or pair-wise ranking, in LeaDivRec we propose a more effective list-wise news recommendation model. More specifically, we propose a permutation Transformer to consider the relatedness between candidate news and meanwhile can learn different representations for similar candidate news to help improve recommendation diversity. We also propose an effective list-wise training method to learn accurate ranking models. In addition, we propose a diversity-aware regularization method to further encourage the model to make controllable diversity-aware recommendations. Extensive experiments on two real-world datasets validate the effectiveness of our approach in balancing recommendation accuracy and diversity.

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Estimating Probabilities in Recommendation Systems

Dec 02, 2010
Mingxuan Sun, Guy Lebanon, Paul Kidwell

Recommendation systems are emerging as an important business application with significant economic impact. Currently popular systems include Amazon's book recommendations, Netflix's movie recommendations, and Pandora's music recommendations. In this paper we address the problem of estimating probabilities associated with recommendation system data using non-parametric kernel smoothing. In our estimation we interpret missing items as randomly censored observations and obtain efficient computation schemes using combinatorial properties of generating functions. We demonstrate our approach with several case studies involving real world movie recommendation data. The results are comparable with state-of-the-art techniques while also providing probabilistic preference estimates outside the scope of traditional recommender systems.

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Explainable Fairness in Recommendation

Apr 24, 2022
Yingqiang Ge, Juntao Tan, Yan Zhu, Yinglong Xia, Jiebo Luo, Shuchang Liu, Zuohui Fu, Shijie Geng, Zelong Li, Yongfeng Zhang

Existing research on fairness-aware recommendation has mainly focused on the quantification of fairness and the development of fair recommendation models, neither of which studies a more substantial problem--identifying the underlying reason of model disparity in recommendation. This information is critical for recommender system designers to understand the intrinsic recommendation mechanism and provides insights on how to improve model fairness to decision makers. Fortunately, with the rapid development of Explainable AI, we can use model explainability to gain insights into model (un)fairness. In this paper, we study the problem of explainable fairness, which helps to gain insights about why a system is fair or unfair, and guides the design of fair recommender systems with a more informed and unified methodology. Particularly, we focus on a common setting with feature-aware recommendation and exposure unfairness, but the proposed explainable fairness framework is general and can be applied to other recommendation settings and fairness definitions. We propose a Counterfactual Explainable Fairness framework, called CEF, which generates explanations about model fairness that can improve the fairness without significantly hurting the performance.The CEF framework formulates an optimization problem to learn the "minimal" change of the input features that changes the recommendation results to a certain level of fairness. Based on the counterfactual recommendation result of each feature, we calculate an explainability score in terms of the fairness-utility trade-off to rank all the feature-based explanations, and select the top ones as fairness explanations.

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Measuring "Why" in Recommender Systems: a Comprehensive Survey on the Evaluation of Explainable Recommendation

Feb 14, 2022
Xu Chen, Yongfeng Zhang, Ji-Rong Wen

Explainable recommendation has shown its great advantages for improving recommendation persuasiveness, user satisfaction, system transparency, among others. A fundamental problem of explainable recommendation is how to evaluate the explanations. In the past few years, various evaluation strategies have been proposed. However, they are scattered in different papers, and there lacks a systematic and detailed comparison between them. To bridge this gap, in this paper, we comprehensively review the previous work, and provide different taxonomies for them according to the evaluation perspectives and evaluation methods. Beyond summarizing the previous work, we also analyze the (dis)advantages of existing evaluation methods and provide a series of guidelines on how to select them. The contents of this survey are based on more than 100 papers from top-tier conferences like IJCAI, AAAI, TheWebConf, Recsys, UMAP, and IUI, and their complete summarization are presented at With this survey, we finally aim to provide a clear and comprehensive review on the evaluation of explainable recommendation.

* 9 pages, 2 tables, submitted to IJCAI 2022 Survey Track 

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Counterfactual Explainable Recommendation

Aug 24, 2021
Juntao Tan, Shuyuan Xu, Yingqiang Ge, Yunqi Li, Xu Chen, Yongfeng Zhang

By providing explanations for users and system designers to facilitate better understanding and decision making, explainable recommendation has been an important research problem. In this paper, we propose Counterfactual Explainable Recommendation (CountER), which takes the insights of counterfactual reasoning from causal inference for explainable recommendation. CountER is able to formulate the complexity and the strength of explanations, and it adopts a counterfactual learning framework to seek simple (low complexity) and effective (high strength) explanations for the model decision. Technically, for each item recommended to each user, CountER formulates a joint optimization problem to generate minimal changes on the item aspects so as to create a counterfactual item, such that the recommendation decision on the counterfactual item is reversed. These altered aspects constitute the explanation of why the original item is recommended. The counterfactual explanation helps both the users for better understanding and the system designers for better model debugging. Another contribution of the work is the evaluation of explainable recommendation, which has been a challenging task. Fortunately, counterfactual explanations are very suitable for standard quantitative evaluation. To measure the explanation quality, we design two types of evaluation metrics, one from user's perspective (i.e. why the user likes the item), and the other from model's perspective (i.e. why the item is recommended by the model). We apply our counterfactual learning algorithm on a black-box recommender system and evaluate the generated explanations on five real-world datasets. Results show that our model generates more accurate and effective explanations than state-of-the-art explainable recommendation models.

* To be published at the 30th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2021) 

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Inductive Conformal Recommender System

Sep 18, 2021
Venkateswara Rao Kagita, Arun K Pujari, Vineet Padmanabhan, Vikas Kumar

Traditional recommendation algorithms develop techniques that can help people to choose desirable items. However, in many real-world applications, along with a set of recommendations, it is also essential to quantify each recommendation's (un)certainty. The conformal recommender system uses the experience of a user to output a set of recommendations, each associated with a precise confidence value. Given a significance level $\varepsilon$, it provides a bound $\varepsilon$ on the probability of making a wrong recommendation. The conformal framework uses a key concept called nonconformity measure that measure the strangeness of an item concerning other items. One of the significant design challenges of any conformal recommendation framework is integrating nonconformity measure with the recommendation algorithm. In this paper, we introduce an inductive variant of a conformal recommender system. We propose and analyze different nonconformity measures in the inductive setting. We also provide theoretical proofs on the error-bound and the time complexity. Extensive empirical analysis on ten benchmark datasets demonstrates that the inductive variant substantially improves the performance in computation time while preserving the accuracy.

* 19 pages 

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Value-Aware Item Weighting for Long-Tail Recommendation

Feb 15, 2018
Himan Abdollahpouri, Robin Burke, Bamshad Mobasher

Many recommender systems suffer from the popularity bias problem: popular items are being recommended frequently while less popular, niche products, are recommended rarely if not at all. However, those ignored products are exactly the products that businesses need to find customers for and their recommendations would be more beneficial. In this paper, we examine an item weighting approach to improve long-tail recommendation. Our approach works as a simple yet powerful add-on to existing recommendation algorithms for making a tunable trade-off between accuracy and long-tail coverage.

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