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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Privacy-preserving and yet Robust Collaborative Filtering Recommender as a Service

Oct 09, 2019
Qiang Tang

Collaborative filtering recommenders provide effective personalization services at the cost of sacrificing the privacy of their end users. Due to the increasing concerns from the society and stricter privacy regulations, it is an urgent research challenge to design privacy-preserving and yet robust recommenders which offer recommendation services to privacy-aware users. Our analysis shows that existing solutions fall short in several aspects, including lacking attention to the precise output to end users and ignoring the correlated robustness issues. In this paper, we provide a general system structure for latent factor based collaborative filtering recommenders by formulating them into model training and prediction computing stages, and also describe a new security model. Aiming at pragmatic solutions, we first show how to construct privacy-preserving and yet robust model training stage based on existing solutions. Then, we propose two cryptographic protocols to realize a privacy-preserving prediction computing stage, depending on whether or not an extra proxy is involved. Different from standard Top-k recommendations, we alternatively let the end user retrieve the unrated items whose predictions are above a threshold, as a result of our privacy by design strategy. Experimental results show that our new protocols are quite efficient.

* 19 

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Knowledge Graph-enhanced Sampling for Conversational Recommender System

Oct 13, 2021
Mengyuan Zhao, Xiaowen Huang, Lixi Zhu, Jitao Sang, Jian Yu

The traditional recommendation systems mainly use offline user data to train offline models, and then recommend items for online users, thus suffering from the unreliable estimation of user preferences based on sparse and noisy historical data. Conversational Recommendation System (CRS) uses the interactive form of the dialogue systems to solve the intrinsic problems of traditional recommendation systems. However, due to the lack of contextual information modeling, the existing CRS models are unable to deal with the exploitation and exploration (E&E) problem well, resulting in the heavy burden on users. To address the aforementioned issue, this work proposes a contextual information enhancement model tailored for CRS, called Knowledge Graph-enhanced Sampling (KGenSam). KGenSam integrates the dynamic graph of user interaction data with the external knowledge into one heterogeneous Knowledge Graph (KG) as the contextual information environment. Then, two samplers are designed to enhance knowledge by sampling fuzzy samples with high uncertainty for obtaining user preferences and reliable negative samples for updating recommender to achieve efficient acquisition of user preferences and model updating, and thus provide a powerful solution for CRS to deal with E&E problem. Experimental results on two real-world datasets demonstrate the superiority of KGenSam with significant improvements over state-of-the-art methods.

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UBER-GNN: A User-Based Embeddings Recommendation based on Graph Neural Networks

Aug 06, 2020
Bo Huang, Ye Bi, Zhenyu Wu, Jianming Wang, Jing Xiao

The problem of session-based recommendation aims to predict user next actions based on session histories. Previous methods models session histories into sequences and estimate user latent features by RNN and GNN methods to make recommendations. However under massive-scale and complicated financial recommendation scenarios with both virtual and real commodities , such methods are not sufficient to represent accurate user latent features and neglect the long-term characteristics of users. To take long-term preference and dynamic interests into account, we propose a novel method, i.e. User-Based Embeddings Recommendation with Graph Neural Network, UBER-GNN for brevity. UBER-GNN takes advantage of structured data to generate longterm user preferences, and transfers session sequences into graphs to generate graph-based dynamic interests. The final user latent feature is then represented as the composition of the long-term preferences and the dynamic interests using attention mechanism. Extensive experiments conducted on real Ping An scenario show that UBER-GNN outperforms the state-of-the-art session-based recommendation methods.

* 6 pages, accepted by CIKM 2019 GRLA workshop 

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SiReN: Sign-Aware Recommendation Using Graph Neural Networks

Aug 19, 2021
Changwon Seo, Kyeong-Joong Jeong, Sungsu Lim, Won-Yong Shin

In recent years, many recommender systems using network embedding (NE) such as graph neural networks (GNNs) have been extensively studied in the sense of improving recommendation accuracy. However, such attempts have focused mostly on utilizing only the information of positive user-item interactions with high ratings. Thus, there is a challenge on how to make use of low rating scores for representing users' preferences since low ratings can be still informative in designing NE-based recommender systems. In this study, we present SiReN, a new sign-aware recommender system based on GNN models. Specifically, SiReN has three key components: 1) constructing a signed bipartite graph for more precisely representing users' preferences, which is split into two edge-disjoint graphs with positive and negative edges each, 2) generating two embeddings for the partitioned graphs with positive and negative edges via a GNN model and a multi-layer perceptron (MLP), respectively, and then using an attention model to obtain the final embeddings, and 3) establishing a sign-aware Bayesian personalized ranking (BPR) loss function in the process of optimization. Through comprehensive experiments, we empirically demonstrate that SiReN consistently outperforms state-of-the-art NE-aided recommendation methods.

* 14 pages, 5 figures, 6 tables 

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Collaborative Variational Bandwidth Auto-encoder for Recommender Systems

May 17, 2021
Yaochen Zhu, Zhenzhong Chen

Collaborative filtering has been widely adopted by modern recommender systems to discover user preferences based on their past behaviors. However, the observed interactions for different users are usually unbalanced, which leads to high uncertainty in the collaborative embeddings of users with sparse ratings, thereby severely degenerating the recommendation performance. Consequently, more efforts have been dedicated to the hybrid recommendation strategy where user/item features are utilized as auxiliary information to address the sparsity problem. However, since these features contain rich multimodal patterns and most of them are irrelevant to the recommendation purpose, excessive reliance on these features will make the model difficult to generalize. To address the above two challenges, we propose a VBAE for recommendation. VBAE models both the collaborative and the user feature embeddings as Gaussian random variables inferred via deep neural networks to capture non-linear similarities between users based on their ratings and features. Furthermore, VBAE establishes an information regulation mechanism by introducing a user-dependent channel variable where the bandwidth is determined by the information already contained in the observed ratings to dynamically control the amount of information allowed to be accessed from the corresponding user features. The user-dependent channel variable alleviates the uncertainty problem when the ratings are sparse while avoids unnecessary dependence of the model on noisy user features simultaneously. Codes and datasets are released at

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From Zero to The Hero: A Collaborative Market Aware Recommendation System for Crowd Workers

Jul 06, 2021
Hamid Shamszare, Razieh Saremi, Sanam Jena

The success of software crowdsourcing depends on active and trustworthy pool of worker supply. The uncertainty of crowd workers' behaviors makes it challenging to predict workers' success and plan accordingly. In a competitive crowdsourcing marketplace, competition for success over shared tasks adds another layer of uncertainty in crowd workers' decision-making process. Preliminary analysis on software worker behaviors reveals an alarming task dropping rate of 82.9%. These factors lead to the need for an automated recommendation system for CSD workers to improve the visibility and predictability of their success in the competition. To that end, this paper proposes a collaborative recommendation system for crowd workers. The proposed recommendation system method uses five input metrics based on workers' collaboration history in the pool, workers' preferences in taking tasks in terms of monetary prize and duration, workers' specialty, and workers' proficiency. The proposed method then recommends the most suitable tasks for a worker to compete on based on workers' probability of success in the task. Experimental results on 260 active crowd workers demonstrate that just following the top three success probabilities of task recommendations, workers can achieve success up to 86%

* 11 pages, 7 figures, 4 tables 

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Interest-aware Message-Passing GCN for Recommendation

Feb 19, 2021
Fan Liu, Zhiyong Cheng, Lei Zhu, Zan Gao, Liqiang Nie

Graph Convolution Networks (GCNs) manifest great potential in recommendation. This is attributed to their capability on learning good user and item embeddings by exploiting the collaborative signals from the high-order neighbors. Like other GCN models, the GCN based recommendation models also suffer from the notorious over-smoothing problem - when stacking more layers, node embeddings become more similar and eventually indistinguishable, resulted in performance degradation. The recently proposed LightGCN and LR-GCN alleviate this problem to some extent, however, we argue that they overlook an important factor for the over-smoothing problem in recommendation, that is, high-order neighboring users with no common interests of a user can be also involved in the user's embedding learning in the graph convolution operation. As a result, the multi-layer graph convolution will make users with dissimilar interests have similar embeddings. In this paper, we propose a novel Interest-aware Message-Passing GCN (IMP-GCN) recommendation model, which performs high-order graph convolution inside subgraphs. The subgraph consists of users with similar interests and their interacted items. To form the subgraphs, we design an unsupervised subgraph generation module, which can effectively identify users with common interests by exploiting both user feature and graph structure. To this end, our model can avoid propagating negative information from high-order neighbors into embedding learning. Experimental results on three large-scale benchmark datasets show that our model can gain performance improvement by stacking more layers and outperform the state-of-the-art GCN-based recommendation models significantly.

* WWW 2021, 10 pages 

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An Empirical Study of DNNs Robustification Inefficacy in Protecting Visual Recommenders

Oct 02, 2020
Vito Walter Anelli, Tommaso Di Noia, Daniele Malitesta, Felice Antonio Merra

Visual-based recommender systems (VRSs) enhance recommendation performance by integrating users' feedback with the visual features of product images extracted from a deep neural network (DNN). Recently, human-imperceptible images perturbations, defined \textit{adversarial attacks}, have been demonstrated to alter the VRSs recommendation performance, e.g., pushing/nuking category of products. However, since adversarial training techniques have proven to successfully robustify DNNs in preserving classification accuracy, to the best of our knowledge, two important questions have not been investigated yet: 1) How well can these defensive mechanisms protect the VRSs performance? 2) What are the reasons behind ineffective/effective defenses? To answer these questions, we define a set of defense and attack settings, as well as recommender models, to empirically investigate the efficacy of defensive mechanisms. The results indicate alarming risks in protecting a VRS through the DNN robustification. Our experiments shed light on the importance of visual features in very effective attack scenarios. Given the financial impact of VRSs on many companies, we believe this work might rise the need to investigate how to successfully protect visual-based recommenders. Source code and data are available at

* 9 pages, 1 figure 

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FNHSM_HRS: Hybrid recommender system using fuzzy clustering and heuristic similarity measure

Sep 26, 2019
Mostafa Khalaji, Chitra Dadkhah

Nowadays, Recommender Systems have become a comprehensive system for helping and guiding users in a huge amount of data on the Internet. Collaborative Filtering offers to active users based on the rating of a set of users. One of the simplest and most comprehensible and successful models is to find users with a taste in recommender systems. In this model, with increasing number of users and items, the system is faced to scalability problem. On the other hand, improving system performance when there is little information available from ratings, that is important. In this paper, a hybrid recommender system called FNHSM_HRS which is based on the new heuristic similarity measure (NHSM) along with a fuzzy clustering is presented. Using the fuzzy clustering method in the proposed system improves the scalability problem and increases the accuracy of system recommendations. The proposed system is based on the collaborative filtering model and is partnered with the heuristic similarity measure to improve the system's performance and accuracy. The evaluation of the proposed system based results on the MovieLens dataset carried out the results using MAE, Recall, Precision and Accuracy measures Indicating improvement in system performance and increasing the accuracy of recommendation to collaborative filtering methods which use other measures to find similarities.

* 6 pages, Conference: 7th Iranian Joint Congress on Fuzzy and Intelligent Systems, 18th Conference on Fuzzy Systems and 17th Conference on Intelligent Systems At: Bojnord, Iran, University of Bojnord, p.p 562-568, January 2019. Persian format 

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RecoMed: A Knowledge-Aware Recommender System for Hypertension Medications

Jan 09, 2022
Maryam Sajde, Hamed Malek, Mehran Mohsenzadeh

Background and Objective High medicine diversity has always been a significant challenge for prescription, causing confusion or doubt in physicians' decision-making process. This paper aims to develop a medicine recommender system called RecoMed to aid the physician in the prescription process of hypertension by providing information about what medications have been prescribed by other doctors and figuring out what other medicines can be recommended in addition to the one in question. Methods There are two steps to the developed method: First, association rule mining algorithms are employed to find medicine association rules. The second step entails graph mining and clustering to present an enriched recommendation via ATC code, which itself comprises several steps. First, the initial graph is constructed from historical prescription data. Then, data pruning is performed in the second step, after which the medicines with a high repetition rate are removed at the discretion of a general medical practitioner. Next, the medicines are matched to a well-known medicine classification system called the ATC code to provide an enriched recommendation. And finally, the DBSCAN and Louvain algorithms cluster medicines in the final step. Results A list of recommended medicines is provided as the system's output, and physicians can choose one or more of the medicines based on the patient's clinical symptoms. Only the medicines of class 2, related to high blood pressure medications, are used to assess the system's performance. The results obtained from this system have been reviewed and confirmed by an expert in this field.

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