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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Evaluating recommender systems for AI-driven data science

Jun 07, 2019
William La Cava, Heather Williams, Weixuan Fu, Jason H. Moore

We present a free and open-source platform to allow researchers to easily apply supervised machine learning to their data. A key component of this system is a recommendation engine that is bootstrapped with machine learning results generated on a repository of open-source datasets. The recommendation system chooses which analyses to run for the user, and allows the user to view analyses, download reproducible code or fitted models, and visualize results via a web browser. The recommender system learns online as results are generated. In this paper we benchmark several recommendation strategies, including collaborative filtering and metalearning approaches, for their ability to learn to select and run optimal algorithm configurations for various datasets as results are generated. We find that a matrix factorization-based recommendation system learns to choose increasingly accurate models from few initial results.

* 14 pages, 6 figures 

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Thresholding for Top-k Recommendation with Temporal Dynamics

Nov 09, 2015
Lei Tang

This work focuses on top-k recommendation in domains where underlying data distribution shifts overtime. We propose to learn a time-dependent bias for each item over whatever existing recommendation engine. Such a bias learning process alleviates data sparsity in constructing the engine, and at the same time captures recent trend shift observed in data. We present an alternating optimization framework to resolve the bias learning problem, and develop methods to handle a variety of commonly used recommendation evaluation criteria, as well as large number of items and users in practice. The proposed algorithm is examined, both offline and online, using real world data sets collected from the largest retailer worldwide. Empirical results demonstrate that the bias learning can almost always boost recommendation performance. We encourage other practitioners to adopt it as a standard component in recommender systems where temporal dynamics is a norm.

* 10 pages 

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Improving Long-Term Metrics in Recommendation Systems using Short-Horizon Offline RL

Jun 01, 2021
Bogdan Mazoure, Paul Mineiro, Pavithra Srinath, Reza Sharifi Sedeh, Doina Precup, Adith Swaminathan

We study session-based recommendation scenarios where we want to recommend items to users during sequential interactions to improve their long-term utility. Optimizing a long-term metric is challenging because the learning signal (whether the recommendations achieved their desired goals) is delayed and confounded by other user interactions with the system. Immediately measurable proxies such as clicks can lead to suboptimal recommendations due to misalignment with the long-term metric. Many works have applied episodic reinforcement learning (RL) techniques for session-based recommendation but these methods do not account for policy-induced drift in user intent across sessions. We develop a new batch RL algorithm called Short Horizon Policy Improvement (SHPI) that approximates policy-induced distribution shifts across sessions. By varying the horizon hyper-parameter in SHPI, we recover well-known policy improvement schemes in the RL literature. Empirical results on four recommendation tasks show that SHPI can outperform matrix factorization, offline bandits, and offline RL baselines. We also provide a stable and computationally efficient implementation using weighted regression oracles.


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Probabilistic Models for Unified Collaborative and Content-Based Recommendation in Sparse-Data Environments

Jan 10, 2013
Alexandrin Popescul, Lyle H. Ungar, David M Pennock, Steve Lawrence

Recommender systems leverage product and community information to target products to consumers. Researchers have developed collaborative recommenders, content-based recommenders, and (largely ad-hoc) hybrid systems. We propose a unified probabilistic framework for merging collaborative and content-based recommendations. We extend Hofmann's [1999] aspect model to incorporate three-way co-occurrence data among users, items, and item content. The relative influence of collaboration data versus content data is not imposed as an exogenous parameter, but rather emerges naturally from the given data sources. Global probabilistic models coupled with standard Expectation Maximization (EM) learning algorithms tend to drastically overfit in sparse-data situations, as is typical in recommendation applications. We show that secondary content information can often be used to overcome sparsity. Experiments on data from the ResearchIndex library of Computer Science publications show that appropriate mixture models incorporating secondary data produce significantly better quality recommenders than k-nearest neighbors (k-NN). Global probabilistic models also allow more general inferences than local methods like k-NN.

* Appears in Proceedings of the Seventeenth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI2001) 

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Learning Points and Routes to Recommend Trajectories

Aug 25, 2016
Dawei Chen, Cheng Soon Ong, Lexing Xie

The problem of recommending tours to travellers is an important and broadly studied area. Suggested solutions include various approaches of points-of-interest (POI) recommendation and route planning. We consider the task of recommending a sequence of POIs, that simultaneously uses information about POIs and routes. Our approach unifies the treatment of various sources of information by representing them as features in machine learning algorithms, enabling us to learn from past behaviour. Information about POIs are used to learn a POI ranking model that accounts for the start and end points of tours. Data about previous trajectories are used for learning transition patterns between POIs that enable us to recommend probable routes. In addition, a probabilistic model is proposed to combine the results of POI ranking and the POI to POI transitions. We propose a new F$_1$ score on pairs of POIs that capture the order of visits. Empirical results show that our approach improves on recent methods, and demonstrate that combining points and routes enables better trajectory recommendations.


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An Item Recommendation Approach by Fusing Images based on Neural Networks

Jul 04, 2019
Weibin Lin, Lin Li

There are rich formats of information in the network, such as rating, text, image, and so on, which represent different aspects of user preferences. In the field of recommendation, how to use those data effectively has become a difficult subject. With the rapid development of neural network, researching on multi-modal method for recommendation has become one of the major directions. In the existing recommender systems, numerical rating, item description and review are main information to be considered by researchers. However, the characteristics of the item may affect the user's preferences, which are rarely used for recommendation models. In this work, we propose a novel model to incorporate visual factors into predictors of people's preferences, namely MF-VMLP, based on the recent developments of neural collaborative filtering (NCF). Firstly, we get visual presentation via a pre-trained convolutional neural network (CNN) model. To obtain the nonlinearities interaction of latent vectors and visual vectors, we propose to leverage a multi-layer perceptron (MLP) to learn. Moreover, the combination of MF and MLP has achieved collaborative filtering recommendation between users and items. Our experiments conduct Amazon's public dataset for experimental validation and root-mean-square error (RMSE) as evaluation metrics. To some extent, experimental result on a real-world data set demonstrates that our model can boost the recommendation performance.


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Privacy-Preserving Multi-Target Multi-Domain Recommender Systems with Assisted AutoEncoders

Oct 26, 2021
Enmao Diao, Vahid Tarokh, Jie Ding

A long-standing challenge in Recommender Systems (RCs) is the data sparsity problem that often arises when users rate very few items. Multi-Target Multi-Domain Recommender Systems (MTMDR) aim to improve the recommendation performance in multiple domains simultaneously. The existing works assume that the data of different domains can be fully shared, and the computation can be performed in a centralized manner. However, in many realistic scenarios, separate recommender systems are operated by different organizations, which do not allow the sharing of private data, models, and recommendation tasks. This work proposes an MTMDR based on Assisted AutoEncoders (AAE) and Multi-Target Assisted Learning (MTAL) to help organizational learners improve their recommendation performance simultaneously without sharing sensitive assets. Moreover, AAE has a broad application scope since it allows explicit or implicit feedback, user- or item-based alignment, and with or without side information. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms the case where each domain is locally trained, and it performs competitively with the centralized training where all data are shared. As a result, AAE can effectively integrate organizations from different domains to form a community of shared interest.


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FairSR: Fairness-aware Sequential Recommendation through Multi-Task Learning with Preference Graph Embeddings

Apr 30, 2022
Cheng-Te Li, Cheng Hsu, Yang Zhang

Sequential recommendation (SR) learns from the temporal dynamics of user-item interactions to predict the next ones. Fairness-aware recommendation mitigates a variety of algorithmic biases in the learning of user preferences. This paper aims at bringing a marriage between SR and algorithmic fairness. We propose a novel fairness-aware sequential recommendation task, in which a new metric, interaction fairness, is defined to estimate how recommended items are fairly interacted by users with different protected attribute groups. We propose a multi-task learning based deep end-to-end model, FairSR, which consists of two parts. One is to learn and distill personalized sequential features from the given user and her item sequence for SR. The other is fairness-aware preference graph embedding (FPGE). The aim of FPGE is two-fold: incorporating the knowledge of users' and items' attributes and their correlation into entity representations, and alleviating the unfair distributions of user attributes on items. Extensive experiments conducted on three datasets show FairSR can outperform state-of-the-art SR models in recommendation performance. In addition, the recommended items by FairSR also exhibit promising interaction fairness.

* ACM Trans. Intell. Syst. Technol. (TIST) 2022 

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Insight-centric Visualization Recommendation

Mar 21, 2021
Camille Harris, Ryan A. Rossi, Sana Malik, Jane Hoffswell, Fan Du, Tak Yeon Lee, Eunyee Koh, Handong Zhao

Visualization recommendation systems simplify exploratory data analysis (EDA) and make understanding data more accessible to users of all skill levels by automatically generating visualizations for users to explore. However, most existing visualization recommendation systems focus on ranking all visualizations into a single list or set of groups based on particular attributes or encodings. This global ranking makes it difficult and time-consuming for users to find the most interesting or relevant insights. To address these limitations, we introduce a novel class of visualization recommendation systems that automatically rank and recommend both groups of related insights as well as the most important insights within each group. Our proposed approach combines results from many different learning-based methods to discover insights automatically. A key advantage is that this approach generalizes to a wide variety of attribute types such as categorical, numerical, and temporal, as well as complex non-trivial combinations of these different attribute types. To evaluate the effectiveness of our approach, we implemented a new insight-centric visualization recommendation system, SpotLight, which generates and ranks annotated visualizations to explain each insight. We conducted a user study with 12 participants and two datasets which showed that users are able to quickly understand and find relevant insights in unfamiliar data.


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