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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

A Multi-Strategy based Pre-Training Method for Cold-Start Recommendation

Dec 04, 2021
Bowen Hao, Hongzhi Yin, Jing Zhang, Cuiping Li, Hong Chen

Cold-start problem is a fundamental challenge for recommendation tasks. The recent self-supervised learning (SSL) on Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) model, PT-GNN, pre-trains the GNN model to reconstruct the cold-start embeddings and has shown great potential for cold-start recommendation. However, due to the over-smoothing problem, PT-GNN can only capture up to 3-order relation, which can not provide much useful auxiliary information to depict the target cold-start user or item. Besides, the embedding reconstruction task only considers the intra-correlations within the subgraph of users and items, while ignoring the inter-correlations across different subgraphs. To solve the above challenges, we propose a multi-strategy based pre-training method for cold-start recommendation (MPT), which extends PT-GNN from the perspective of model architecture and pretext tasks to improve the cold-start recommendation performance. Specifically, in terms of the model architecture, in addition to the short-range dependencies of users and items captured by the GNN encoder, we introduce a Transformer encoder to capture long-range dependencies. In terms of the pretext task, in addition to considering the intra-correlations of users and items by the embedding reconstruction task, we add embedding contrastive learning task to capture inter-correlations of users and items. We train the GNN and Transformer encoders on these pretext tasks under the meta-learning setting to simulate the real cold-start scenario, making the model easily and rapidly being adapted to new cold-start users and items. Experiments on three public recommendation datasets show the superiority of the proposed MPT model against the vanilla GNN models, the pre-training GNN model on user/item embedding inference and the recommendation task.

* 12 pages, 6 figures 

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A Clustering-Based Method for Automatic Educational Video Recommendation Using Deep Face-Features of Lecturers

Oct 09, 2020
Paulo R. C. Mendes, Eduardo S. Vieira, Álan L. V. Guedes, Antonio J. G. Busson, Sérgio Colcher

Discovering and accessing specific content within educational video bases is a challenging task, mainly because of the abundance of video content and its diversity. Recommender systems are often used to enhance the ability to find and select content. But, recommendation mechanisms, especially those based on textual information, exhibit some limitations, such as being error-prone to manually created keywords or due to imprecise speech recognition. This paper presents a method for generating educational video recommendation using deep face-features of lecturers without identifying them. More precisely, we use an unsupervised face clustering mechanism to create relations among the videos based on the lecturer's presence. Then, for a selected educational video taken as a reference, we recommend the ones where the presence of the same lecturers is detected. Moreover, we rank these recommended videos based on the amount of time the referenced lecturers were present. For this task, we achieved a mAP value of 99.165%.

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Leveraging Review Properties for Effective Recommendation

Feb 05, 2021
Xi Wang, Iadh Ounis, Craig Macdonald

Many state-of-the-art recommendation systems leverage explicit item reviews posted by users by considering their usefulness in representing the users' preferences and describing the items' attributes. These posted reviews may have various associated properties, such as their length, their age since they were posted, or their item rating. However, it remains unclear how these different review properties contribute to the usefulness of their corresponding reviews in addressing the recommendation task. In particular, users show distinct preferences when considering different aspects of the reviews (i.e. properties) for making decisions about the items. Hence, it is important to model the relationship between the reviews' properties and the usefulness of reviews while learning the users' preferences and the items' attributes. Therefore, we propose to model the reviews with their associated available properties. We introduce a novel review properties-based recommendation model (RPRM) that learns which review properties are more important than others in capturing the usefulness of reviews, thereby enhancing the recommendation results. Furthermore, inspired by the users' information adoption framework, we integrate two loss functions and a negative sampling strategy into our proposed RPRM model, to ensure that the properties of reviews are correlated with the users' preferences. We examine the effectiveness of RPRM using the well-known Yelp and Amazon datasets. Our results show that RPRM significantly outperforms a classical and five state-of-the-art baselines. Moreover, we experimentally show the advantages of using our proposed loss functions and negative sampling strategy, which further enhance the recommendation performances of RPRM.

* To be published in the International World Wide Web Conference (WWW) 2021 

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Learning Neural Templates for Recommender Dialogue System

Sep 25, 2021
Zujie Liang, Huang Hu, Can Xu, Jian Miao, Yingying He, Yining Chen, Xiubo Geng, Fan Liang, Daxin Jiang

Though recent end-to-end neural models have shown promising progress on Conversational Recommender System (CRS), two key challenges still remain. First, the recommended items cannot be always incorporated into the generated replies precisely and appropriately. Second, only the items mentioned in the training corpus have a chance to be recommended in the conversation. To tackle these challenges, we introduce a novel framework called NTRD for recommender dialogue system that decouples the dialogue generation from the item recommendation. NTRD has two key components, i.e., response template generator and item selector. The former adopts an encoder-decoder model to generate a response template with slot locations tied to target items, while the latter fills in slot locations with the proper items using a sufficient attention mechanism. Our approach combines the strengths of both classical slot filling approaches (that are generally controllable) and modern neural NLG approaches (that are generally more natural and accurate). Extensive experiments on the benchmark ReDial show our NTRD significantly outperforms the previous state-of-the-art methods. Besides, our approach has the unique advantage to produce novel items that do not appear in the training set of dialogue corpus. The code is available at \url{}.

* EMNLP 2021 long paper, code link: 

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FedeRank: User Controlled Feedback with Federated Recommender Systems

Jan 20, 2021
Vito Walter Anelli, Yashar Deldjoo, Tommaso Di Noia, Antonio Ferrara, Fedelucio Narducci

Recommender systems have shown to be a successful representative of how data availability can ease our everyday digital life. However, data privacy is one of the most prominent concerns in the digital era. After several data breaches and privacy scandals, the users are now worried about sharing their data. In the last decade, Federated Learning has emerged as a new privacy-preserving distributed machine learning paradigm. It works by processing data on the user device without collecting data in a central repository. We present FedeRank (, a federated recommendation algorithm. The system learns a personal factorization model onto every device. The training of the model is a synchronous process between the central server and the federated clients. FedeRank takes care of computing recommendations in a distributed fashion and allows users to control the portion of data they want to share. By comparing with state-of-the-art algorithms, extensive experiments show the effectiveness of FedeRank in terms of recommendation accuracy, even with a small portion of shared user data. Further analysis of the recommendation lists' diversity and novelty guarantees the suitability of the algorithm in real production environments.

* Accepted for publishing at 43rd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2021) 

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LSTM Networks for Online Cross-Network Recommendations

Sep 03, 2020
Dilruk Perera, Roger Zimmermann

Cross-network recommender systems use auxiliary information from multiple source networks to create holistic user profiles and improve recommendations in a target network. However, we find two major limitations in existing cross-network solutions that reduce overall recommender performance. Existing models (1) fail to capture complex non-linear relationships in user interactions, and (2) are designed for offline settings hence, not updated online with incoming interactions to capture the dynamics in the recommender environment. We propose a novel multi-layered Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) network based online solution to mitigate these issues. The proposed model contains three main extensions to the standard LSTM: First, an attention gated mechanism to capture long-term user preference changes. Second, a higher order interaction layer to alleviate data sparsity. Third, time aware LSTM cell gates to capture irregular time intervals between user interactions. We illustrate our solution using auxiliary information from Twitter and Google Plus to improve recommendations on YouTube. Extensive experiments show that the proposed model consistently outperforms state-of-the-art in terms of accuracy, diversity and novelty.

* International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2018 (IJCAI-18) 

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Improving Sequential Recommendation with Attribute-augmented Graph Neural Networks

Mar 10, 2021
Xinzhou Dong, Beihong Jin, Wei Zhuo, Beibei Li, Taofeng Xue

Many practical recommender systems provide item recommendation for different users only via mining user-item interactions but totally ignoring the rich attribute information of items that users interact with. In this paper, we propose an attribute-augmented graph neural network model named Murzim. Murzim takes as input the graphs constructed from the user-item interaction sequences and corresponding item attribute sequences. By combining the GNNs with node aggregation and an attention network, Murzim can capture user preference patterns, generate embeddings for user-item interaction sequences, and then generate recommendations through next-item prediction. We conduct extensive experiments on multiple datasets. Experimental results show that Murzim outperforms several state-of-the-art methods in terms of recall and MRR, which illustrates that Murzim can make use of item attribute information to produce better recommendations. At present, Murzim has been deployed in MX Player, one of India's largest streaming platforms, and is recommending videos for tens of thousands of users.

* The 25th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD-2021), May 11-14, 2021, Delhi, India 

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TLSAN: Time-aware Long- and Short-term Attention Network for Next-item Recommendation

Mar 16, 2021
Jianqing Zhang, Dongjing Wang, Dongjin Yu

Recently, deep neural networks are widely applied in recommender systems for their effectiveness in capturing/modeling users' preferences. Especially, the attention mechanism in deep learning enables recommender systems to incorporate various features in an adaptive way. Specifically, as for the next item recommendation task, we have the following three observations: 1) users' sequential behavior records aggregate at time positions ("time-aggregation"), 2) users have personalized taste that is related to the "time-aggregation" phenomenon ("personalized time-aggregation"), and 3) users' short-term interests play an important role in the next item prediction/recommendation. In this paper, we propose a new Time-aware Long- and Short-term Attention Network (TLSAN) to address those observations mentioned above. Specifically, TLSAN consists of two main components. Firstly, TLSAN models "personalized time-aggregation" and learn user-specific temporal taste via trainable personalized time position embeddings with category-aware correlations in long-term behaviors. Secondly, long- and short-term feature-wise attention layers are proposed to effectively capture users' long- and short-term preferences for accurate recommendation. Especially, the attention mechanism enables TLSAN to utilize users' preferences in an adaptive way, and its usage in long- and short-term layers enhances TLSAN's ability of dealing with sparse interaction data. Extensive experiments are conducted on Amazon datasets from different fields (also with different size), and the results show that TLSAN outperforms state-of-the-art baselines in both capturing users' preferences and performing time-sensitive next-item recommendation.

* Neurocomputing, Volume 441, 21 June 2021, Pages 179-191 

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Multi-behavior Graph Contextual Aware Network for Session-based Recommendation

Sep 24, 2021
Qi Shen, Lingfei Wu, Yitong Pang, Yiming Zhang, Zhihua Wei, Fangli Xu, Bo Long

Predicting the next interaction of a short-term sequence is a challenging task in session-based recommendation (SBR).Multi-behavior session recommendation considers session sequence with multiple interaction types, such as click and purchase, to capture more effective user intention representation sufficiently.Despite the superior performance of existing multi-behavior based methods for SBR, there are still several severe limitations:(i) Almost all existing works concentrate on single target type of next behavior and fail to model multiplex behavior sessions uniformly.(ii) Previous methods also ignore the semantic relations between various next behavior and historical behavior sequence, which are significant signals to obtain current latent intention for SBR.(iii) The global cross-session item-item graph established by some existing models may incorporate semantics and context level noise for multi-behavior session-based recommendation. To overcome the limitations (i) and (ii), we propose two novel tasks for SBR, which require the incorporation of both historical behaviors and next behaviors into unified multi-behavior recommendation modeling. To this end, we design a Multi-behavior Graph Contextual Aware Network (MGCNet) for multi-behavior session-based recommendation for the two proposed tasks. Specifically, we build a multi-behavior global item transition graph based on all sessions involving all interaction types. Based on the global graph, MGCNet attaches the global interest representation to final item representation based on local contextual intention to address the limitation (iii). In the end, we utilize the next behavior information explicitly to guide the learning of general interest and current intention for SBR. Experiments on three public benchmark datasets show that MGCNet can outperform state-of-the-art models for multi-behavior session-based recommendation.

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