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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Diversity-Promoting Deep Reinforcement Learning for Interactive Recommendation

Mar 19, 2019
Yong Liu, Yinan Zhang, Qiong Wu, Chunyan Miao, Lizhen Cui, Binqiang Zhao, Yin Zhao, Lu Guan

Interactive recommendation that models the explicit interactions between users and the recommender system has attracted a lot of research attentions in recent years. Most previous interactive recommendation systems only focus on optimizing recommendation accuracy while overlooking other important aspects of recommendation quality, such as the diversity of recommendation results. In this paper, we propose a novel recommendation model, named \underline{D}iversity-promoting \underline{D}eep \underline{R}einforcement \underline{L}earning (D$^2$RL), which encourages the diversity of recommendation results in interaction recommendations. More specifically, we adopt a Determinantal Point Process (DPP) model to generate diverse, while relevant item recommendations. A personalized DPP kernel matrix is maintained for each user, which is constructed from two parts: a fixed similarity matrix capturing item-item similarity, and the relevance of items dynamically learnt through an actor-critic reinforcement learning framework. We performed extensive offline experiments as well as simulated online experiments with real world datasets to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model.

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Personalized News Recommendation: A Survey

Jul 08, 2021
Chuhan Wu, Fangzhao Wu, Yongfeng Huang, Xing Xie

Personalized news recommendation is an important technique to help users find their interested news information and alleviate their information overload. It has been extensively studied over decades and has achieved notable success in improving users' news reading experience. However, there are still many unsolved problems and challenges that need to be further studied. To help researchers master the advances in personalized news recommendation over the past years, in this paper we present a comprehensive overview of personalized news recommendation. Instead of following the conventional taxonomy of news recommendation methods, in this paper we propose a novel perspective to understand personalized news recommendation based on its core problems and the associated techniques and challenges. We first review the techniques for tackling each core problem in a personalized news recommender system and the challenges they face. Next, we introduce the public datasets and evaluation methods for personalized news recommendation. We then discuss the key points on improving the responsibility of personalized news recommender systems. Finally, we raise several research directions that are worth investigating in the future. This paper can provide up-to-date and comprehensive views to help readers understand the personalized news recommendation field. We hope this paper can facilitate research on personalized news recommendation and as well as related fields in natural language processing and data mining.

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Bandit Learning for Diversified Interactive Recommendation

Jul 01, 2019
Yong Liu, Yingtai Xiao, Qiong Wu, Chunyan Miao, Juyong Zhang

Interactive recommender systems that enable the interactions between users and the recommender system have attracted increasing research attentions. Previous methods mainly focus on optimizing recommendation accuracy. However, they usually ignore the diversity of the recommendation results, thus usually results in unsatisfying user experiences. In this paper, we propose a novel diversified recommendation model, named Diversified Contextual Combinatorial Bandit (DC$^2$B), for interactive recommendation with users' implicit feedback. Specifically, DC$^2$B employs determinantal point process in the recommendation procedure to promote diversity of the recommendation results. To learn the model parameters, a Thompson sampling-type algorithm based on variational Bayesian inference is proposed. In addition, theoretical regret analysis is also provided to guarantee the performance of DC$^2$B. Extensive experiments on real datasets are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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Latent Unexpected Recommendations

Jul 27, 2020
Pan Li, Alexander Tuzhilin

Unexpected recommender system constitutes an important tool to tackle the problem of filter bubbles and user boredom, which aims at providing unexpected and satisfying recommendations to target users at the same time. Previous unexpected recommendation methods only focus on the straightforward relations between current recommendations and user expectations by modeling unexpectedness in the feature space, thus resulting in the loss of accuracy measures in order to improve unexpectedness performance. Contrast to these prior models, we propose to model unexpectedness in the latent space of user and item embeddings, which allows to capture hidden and complex relations between new recommendations and historic purchases. In addition, we develop a novel Latent Closure (LC) method to construct hybrid utility function and provide unexpected recommendations based on the proposed model. Extensive experiments on three real-world datasets illustrate superiority of our proposed approach over the state-of-the-art unexpected recommendation models, which leads to significant increase in unexpectedness measure without sacrificing any accuracy metric under all experimental settings in this paper.

* Accepted at ACM TIST 

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Reinforcement Learning based Recommender System using Biclustering Technique

Jan 17, 2018
Sungwoon Choi, Heonseok Ha, Uiwon Hwang, Chanju Kim, Jung-Woo Ha, Sungroh Yoon

A recommender system aims to recommend items that a user is interested in among many items. The need for the recommender system has been expanded by the information explosion. Various approaches have been suggested for providing meaningful recommendations to users. One of the proposed approaches is to consider a recommender system as a Markov decision process (MDP) problem and try to solve it using reinforcement learning (RL). However, existing RL-based methods have an obvious drawback. To solve an MDP in a recommender system, they encountered a problem with the large number of discrete actions that bring RL to a larger class of problems. In this paper, we propose a novel RL-based recommender system. We formulate a recommender system as a gridworld game by using a biclustering technique that can reduce the state and action space significantly. Using biclustering not only reduces space but also improves the recommendation quality effectively handling the cold-start problem. In addition, our approach can provide users with some explanation why the system recommends certain items. Lastly, we examine the proposed algorithm on a real-world dataset and achieve a better performance than the widely used recommendation algorithm.

* 4 pages, 2 figures, IFUP2018(WSDM 2018 workshop) 

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Fairness and Transparency in Recommendation: The Users' Perspective

Mar 16, 2021
Nasim Sonboli, Jessie J. Smith, Florencia Cabral Berenfus, Robin Burke, Casey Fiesler

Though recommender systems are defined by personalization, recent work has shown the importance of additional, beyond-accuracy objectives, such as fairness. Because users often expect their recommendations to be purely personalized, these new algorithmic objectives must be communicated transparently in a fairness-aware recommender system. While explanation has a long history in recommender systems research, there has been little work that attempts to explain systems that use a fairness objective. Even though the previous work in other branches of AI has explored the use of explanations as a tool to increase fairness, this work has not been focused on recommendation. Here, we consider user perspectives of fairness-aware recommender systems and techniques for enhancing their transparency. We describe the results of an exploratory interview study that investigates user perceptions of fairness, recommender systems, and fairness-aware objectives. We propose three features -- informed by the needs of our participants -- that could improve user understanding of and trust in fairness-aware recommender systems.

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A Survey on Cross-domain Recommendation: Taxonomies, Methods, and Future Directions

Aug 07, 2021
Tianzi Zang, Yanmin Zhu, Haobing Liu, Ruohan Zhang, Jiadi Yu

Traditional recommendation systems are faced with two long-standing obstacles, namely, data sparsity and cold-start problems, which promote the emergence and development of Cross-Domain Recommendation (CDR). The core idea of CDR is to leverage information collected from other domains to alleviate the two problems in one domain. Over the last decade, many efforts have been engaged for cross-domain recommendation. Recently, with the development of deep learning and neural networks, a large number of methods have emerged. However, there is a limited number of systematic surveys on CDR, especially regarding the latest proposed methods as well as the recommendation scenarios and recommendation tasks they address. In this survey paper, we first proposed a two-level taxonomy of cross-domain recommendation which classifies different recommendation scenarios and recommendation tasks. We then introduce and summarize existing cross-domain recommendation approaches under different recommendation scenarios in a structured manner. We also organize datasets commonly used. We conclude this survey by providing several potential research directions about this field.

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Towards Conversational Recommendation over Multi-Type Dialogs

May 08, 2020
Zeming Liu, Haifeng Wang, Zheng-Yu Niu, Hua Wu, Wanxiang Che, Ting Liu

We focus on the study of conversational recommendation in the context of multi-type dialogs, where the bots can proactively and naturally lead a conversation from a non-recommendation dialog (e.g., QA) to a recommendation dialog, taking into account user's interests and feedback. To facilitate the study of this task, we create a human-to-human Chinese dialog dataset DuRecDial (about 10k dialogs, 156k utterances), where there are multiple sequential dialogs for a pair of a recommendation seeker (user) and a recommender (bot). In each dialog, the recommender proactively leads a multi-type dialog to approach recommendation targets and then makes multiple recommendations with rich interaction behavior. This dataset allows us to systematically investigate different parts of the overall problem, e.g., how to naturally lead a dialog, how to interact with users for recommendation. Finally we establish baseline results on DuRecDial for future studies. Dataset and codes are publicly available at

* Accepted by ACL 2020 

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Bridging the Gap between Conversational Reasoning and Interactive Recommendation

Oct 20, 2020
Wenchang Ma, Ryuichi Takanobu, Minghao Tu, Minlie Huang

There have been growing interests in building a conversational recommender system, where the system simultaneously interacts with the user and explores the user's preference throughout conversational interactions. Recommendation and conversation were usually treated as two separate modules with limited information exchange in existing works, which hinders the capability of both systems: (1) dialog merely incorporated recommendation entities without being guided by an explicit recommendation-oriented policy; (2) recommendation utilized dialog only as a form of interaction instead of improving recommendation effectively. To address the above issues, we propose a novel recommender dialog model: CR-Walker. In order to view the two separate systems within a unified framework, we seek high-level mapping between hierarchical dialog acts and multi-hop knowledge graph reasoning. The model walks on a large-scale knowledge graph to form a reasoning tree at each turn, then mapped to dialog acts to guide response generation. With such a mapping mechanism as a bridge between recommendation and conversation, our framework maximizes the mutual benefit between two systems: dialog as an enhancement to recommendation quality and explainability, recommendation as a goal and enrichment to dialog semantics. Quantitative evaluation shows that our model excels in conversation informativeness and recommendation effectiveness, at the same time explainable on the policy level.

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