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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Blocking Bandits

Jul 27, 2019
Soumya Basu, Rajat Sen, Sujay Sanghavi, Sanjay Shakkottai

We consider a novel stochastic multi-armed bandit setting, where playing an arm makes it unavailable for a fixed number of time slots thereafter. This models situations where reusing an arm too often is undesirable (e.g. making the same product recommendation repeatedly) or infeasible (e.g. compute job scheduling on machines). We show that with prior knowledge of the rewards and delays of all the arms, the problem of optimizing cumulative reward does not admit any pseudo-polynomial time algorithm (in the number of arms) unless randomized exponential time hypothesis is false, by mapping to the PINWHEEL scheduling problem. Subsequently, we show that a simple greedy algorithm that plays the available arm with the highest reward is asymptotically $(1-1/e)$ optimal. When the rewards are unknown, we design a UCB based algorithm which is shown to have $c \log T + o(\log T)$ cumulative regret against the greedy algorithm, leveraging the free exploration of arms due to the unavailability. Finally, when all the delays are equal the problem reduces to Combinatorial Semi-bandits providing us with a lower bound of $c' \log T+ \omega(\log T)$.


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One Bit Matters: Understanding Adversarial Examples as the Abuse of Redundancy

Oct 23, 2018
Jingkang Wang, Ruoxi Jia, Gerald Friedland, Bo Li, Costas Spanos

Despite the great success achieved in machine learning (ML), adversarial examples have caused concerns with regards to its trustworthiness: A small perturbation of an input results in an arbitrary failure of an otherwise seemingly well-trained ML model. While studies are being conducted to discover the intrinsic properties of adversarial examples, such as their transferability and universality, there is insufficient theoretic analysis to help understand the phenomenon in a way that can influence the design process of ML experiments. In this paper, we deduce an information-theoretic model which explains adversarial attacks as the abuse of feature redundancies in ML algorithms. We prove that feature redundancy is a necessary condition for the existence of adversarial examples. Our model helps to explain some major questions raised in many anecdotal studies on adversarial examples. Our theory is backed up by empirical measurements of the information content of benign and adversarial examples on both image and text datasets. Our measurements show that typical adversarial examples introduce just enough redundancy to overflow the decision making of an ML model trained on corresponding benign examples. We conclude with actionable recommendations to improve the robustness of machine learners against adversarial examples.


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RECS: Robust Graph Embedding Using Connection Subgraphs

Sep 05, 2018
Saba A. Al-Sayouri, Danai Koutra, Evangelos E. Papalexakis, Sarah S. Lam

The success of graph embeddings or node representation learning in a variety of downstream tasks, such as node classification, link prediction, and recommendation systems, has led to their popularity in recent years. Representation learning algorithms aim to preserve local and global network structure by identifying node neighborhood notions. However, many existing algorithms generate embeddings that fail to properly preserve the network structure, or lead to unstable representations due to random processes (e.g., random walks to generate context) and, thus, cannot generate to multi-graph problems. In this paper, we propose RECS, a novel, stable graph embedding algorithmic framework. RECS learns graph representations using connection subgraphs by employing the analogy of graphs with electrical circuits. It preserves both local and global connectivity patterns, and addresses the issue of high-degree nodes. Further, it exploits the strength of weak ties and meta-data that have been neglected by baselines. The experiments show that RECS outperforms state-of-the-art algorithms by up to 36.85% on multi-label classification problem. Further, in contrast to baselines, RECS, being deterministic, is completely stable.


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A Boosting Framework of Factorization Machine

Apr 17, 2018
Longfei Li, Peilin Zhao, Jun Zhou, Xiaolong Li

Recently, Factorization Machines (FM) has become more and more popular for recommendation systems, due to its effectiveness in finding informative interactions between features. Usually, the weights for the interactions is learnt as a low rank weight matrix, which is formulated as an inner product of two low rank matrices. This low rank can help improve the generalization ability of Factorization Machines. However, to choose the rank properly, it usually needs to run the algorithm for many times using different ranks, which clearly is inefficient for some large-scale datasets. To alleviate this issue, we propose an Adaptive Boosting framework of Factorization Machines (AdaFM), which can adaptively search for proper ranks for different datasets without re-training. Instead of using a fixed rank for FM, the proposed algorithm will adaptively gradually increases its rank according to its performance until the performance does not grow, using boosting strategy. To verify the performance of our proposed framework, we conduct an extensive set of experiments on many real-world datasets. Encouraging empirical results shows that the proposed algorithms are generally more effective than state-of-the-art other Factorization Machines.


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A Comprehensive Survey of Graph Embedding: Problems, Techniques and Applications

Feb 02, 2018
Hongyun Cai, Vincent W. Zheng, Kevin Chen-Chuan Chang

Graph is an important data representation which appears in a wide diversity of real-world scenarios. Effective graph analytics provides users a deeper understanding of what is behind the data, and thus can benefit a lot of useful applications such as node classification, node recommendation, link prediction, etc. However, most graph analytics methods suffer the high computation and space cost. Graph embedding is an effective yet efficient way to solve the graph analytics problem. It converts the graph data into a low dimensional space in which the graph structural information and graph properties are maximally preserved. In this survey, we conduct a comprehensive review of the literature in graph embedding. We first introduce the formal definition of graph embedding as well as the related concepts. After that, we propose two taxonomies of graph embedding which correspond to what challenges exist in different graph embedding problem settings and how the existing work address these challenges in their solutions. Finally, we summarize the applications that graph embedding enables and suggest four promising future research directions in terms of computation efficiency, problem settings, techniques and application scenarios.

* A 20-page comprehensive survey of graph/network embedding for over 150+ papers till year 2018. It provides systematic categorization of problems, techniques and applications. Accepted by IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE). Comments and suggestions are welcomed for continuously improving this survey 

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Fixed effects testing in high-dimensional linear mixed models

Aug 14, 2017
Jelena Bradic, Gerda Claeskens, Thomas Gueuning

Many scientific and engineering challenges -- ranging from pharmacokinetic drug dosage allocation and personalized medicine to marketing mix (4Ps) recommendations -- require an understanding of the unobserved heterogeneity in order to develop the best decision making-processes. In this paper, we develop a hypothesis test and the corresponding p-value for testing for the significance of the homogeneous structure in linear mixed models. A robust matching moment construction is used for creating a test that adapts to the size of the model sparsity. When unobserved heterogeneity at a cluster level is constant, we show that our test is both consistent and unbiased even when the dimension of the model is extremely high. Our theoretical results rely on a new family of adaptive sparse estimators of the fixed effects that do not require consistent estimation of the random effects. Moreover, our inference results do not require consistent model selection. We showcase that moment matching can be extended to nonlinear mixed effects models and to generalized linear mixed effects models. In numerical and real data experiments, we find that the developed method is extremely accurate, that it adapts to the size of the underlying model and is decidedly powerful in the presence of irrelevant covariates.


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Counterfactual Risk Minimization: Learning from Logged Bandit Feedback

May 20, 2015
Adith Swaminathan, Thorsten Joachims

We develop a learning principle and an efficient algorithm for batch learning from logged bandit feedback. This learning setting is ubiquitous in online systems (e.g., ad placement, web search, recommendation), where an algorithm makes a prediction (e.g., ad ranking) for a given input (e.g., query) and observes bandit feedback (e.g., user clicks on presented ads). We first address the counterfactual nature of the learning problem through propensity scoring. Next, we prove generalization error bounds that account for the variance of the propensity-weighted empirical risk estimator. These constructive bounds give rise to the Counterfactual Risk Minimization (CRM) principle. We show how CRM can be used to derive a new learning method -- called Policy Optimizer for Exponential Models (POEM) -- for learning stochastic linear rules for structured output prediction. We present a decomposition of the POEM objective that enables efficient stochastic gradient optimization. POEM is evaluated on several multi-label classification problems showing substantially improved robustness and generalization performance compared to the state-of-the-art.

* 10 pages 

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TuPAQ: An Efficient Planner for Large-scale Predictive Analytic Queries

Mar 08, 2015
Evan R. Sparks, Ameet Talwalkar, Michael J. Franklin, Michael I. Jordan, Tim Kraska

The proliferation of massive datasets combined with the development of sophisticated analytical techniques have enabled a wide variety of novel applications such as improved product recommendations, automatic image tagging, and improved speech-driven interfaces. These and many other applications can be supported by Predictive Analytic Queries (PAQs). A major obstacle to supporting PAQs is the challenging and expensive process of identifying and training an appropriate predictive model. Recent efforts aiming to automate this process have focused on single node implementations and have assumed that model training itself is a black box, thus limiting the effectiveness of such approaches on large-scale problems. In this work, we build upon these recent efforts and propose an integrated PAQ planning architecture that combines advanced model search techniques, bandit resource allocation via runtime algorithm introspection, and physical optimization via batching. The result is TuPAQ, a component of the MLbase system, which solves the PAQ planning problem with comparable quality to exhaustive strategies but an order of magnitude more efficiently than the standard baseline approach, and can scale to models trained on terabytes of data across hundreds of machines.


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Large Scale Purchase Prediction with Historical User Actions on B2C Online Retail Platform

Mar 04, 2015
Yuyu Zhang, Liang Pang, Lei Shi, Bin Wang

This paper describes the solution of Bazinga Team for Tmall Recommendation Prize 2014. With real-world user action data provided by Tmall, one of the largest B2C online retail platforms in China, this competition requires to predict future user purchases on Tmall website. Predictions are judged on F1Score, which considers both precision and recall for fair evaluation. The data set provided by Tmall contains more than half billion action records from over ten million distinct users. Such massive data volume poses a big challenge, and drives competitors to write every single program in MapReduce fashion and run it on distributed cluster. We model the purchase prediction problem as standard machine learning problem, and mainly employ regression and classification methods as single models. Individual models are then aggregated in a two-stage approach, using linear regression for blending, and finally a linear ensemble of blended models. The competition is approaching the end but still in running during writing this paper. In the end, our team achieves F1Score 6.11 and ranks 7th (out of 7,276 teams in total).

* Accepted by 2nd Large Scale Recommender Systems Workshop, RecSys 2014 

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A Gang of Bandits

Nov 04, 2013
Nicolò Cesa-Bianchi, Claudio Gentile, Giovanni Zappella

Multi-armed bandit problems are receiving a great deal of attention because they adequately formalize the exploration-exploitation trade-offs arising in several industrially relevant applications, such as online advertisement and, more generally, recommendation systems. In many cases, however, these applications have a strong social component, whose integration in the bandit algorithm could lead to a dramatic performance increase. For instance, we may want to serve content to a group of users by taking advantage of an underlying network of social relationships among them. In this paper, we introduce novel algorithmic approaches to the solution of such networked bandit problems. More specifically, we design and analyze a global strategy which allocates a bandit algorithm to each network node (user) and allows it to "share" signals (contexts and payoffs) with the neghboring nodes. We then derive two more scalable variants of this strategy based on different ways of clustering the graph nodes. We experimentally compare the algorithm and its variants to state-of-the-art methods for contextual bandits that do not use the relational information. Our experiments, carried out on synthetic and real-world datasets, show a marked increase in prediction performance obtained by exploiting the network structure.

* NIPS 2013 

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