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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

TEA: A Sequential Recommendation Framework via Temporally Evolving Aggregations

Nov 14, 2021
Zijian Li, Ruichu Cai, Fengzhu Wu, Sili Zhang, Hao Gu, Yuexing Hao, Yuguang

Sequential recommendation aims to choose the most suitable items for a user at a specific timestamp given historical behaviors. Existing methods usually model the user behavior sequence based on the transition-based methods like Markov Chain. However, these methods also implicitly assume that the users are independent of each other without considering the influence between users. In fact, this influence plays an important role in sequence recommendation since the behavior of a user is easily affected by others. Therefore, it is desirable to aggregate both user behaviors and the influence between users, which are evolved temporally and involved in the heterogeneous graph of users and items. In this paper, we incorporate dynamic user-item heterogeneous graphs to propose a novel sequential recommendation framework. As a result, the historical behaviors as well as the influence between users can be taken into consideration. To achieve this, we firstly formalize sequential recommendation as a problem to estimate conditional probability given temporal dynamic heterogeneous graphs and user behavior sequences. After that, we exploit the conditional random field to aggregate the heterogeneous graphs and user behaviors for probability estimation, and employ the pseudo-likelihood approach to derive a tractable objective function. Finally, we provide scalable and flexible implementations of the proposed framework. Experimental results on three real-world datasets not only demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method but also provide some insightful discoveries on sequential recommendation.

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Reinforcement Learning with a Disentangled Universal Value Function for Item Recommendation

Apr 11, 2021
Kai Wang, Zhene Zou, Qilin Deng, Runze Wu, Jianrong Tao, Changjie Fan, Liang Chen, Peng Cui

In recent years, there are great interests as well as challenges in applying reinforcement learning (RL) to recommendation systems (RS). In this paper, we summarize three key practical challenges of large-scale RL-based recommender systems: massive state and action spaces, high-variance environment, and the unspecific reward setting in recommendation. All these problems remain largely unexplored in the existing literature and make the application of RL challenging. We develop a model-based reinforcement learning framework, called GoalRec. Inspired by the ideas of world model (model-based), value function estimation (model-free), and goal-based RL, a novel disentangled universal value function designed for item recommendation is proposed. It can generalize to various goals that the recommender may have, and disentangle the stochastic environmental dynamics and high-variance reward signals accordingly. As a part of the value function, free from the sparse and high-variance reward signals, a high-capacity reward-independent world model is trained to simulate complex environmental dynamics under a certain goal. Based on the predicted environmental dynamics, the disentangled universal value function is related to the user's future trajectory instead of a monolithic state and a scalar reward. We demonstrate the superiority of GoalRec over previous approaches in terms of the above three practical challenges in a series of simulations and a real application.

* 9 pages, 4 figures, to be published in Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2021 

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JSCN: Joint Spectral Convolutional Network for Cross Domain Recommendation

Oct 18, 2019
Zhiwei Liu, Lei Zheng, Jiawei Zhang, Jiayu Han, Philip S. Yu

Cross-domain recommendation can alleviate the data sparsity problem in recommender systems. To transfer the knowledge from one domain to another, one can either utilize the neighborhood information or learn a direct mapping function. However, all existing methods ignore the high-order connectivity information in cross-domain recommendation area and suffer from the domain-incompatibility problem. In this paper, we propose a \textbf{J}oint \textbf{S}pectral \textbf{C}onvolutional \textbf{N}etwork (JSCN) for cross-domain recommendation. JSCN will simultaneously operate multi-layer spectral convolutions on different graphs, and jointly learn a domain-invariant user representation with a domain adaptive user mapping module. As a result, the high-order comprehensive connectivity information can be extracted by the spectral convolutions and the information can be transferred across domains with the domain-invariant user mapping. The domain adaptive user mapping module can help the incompatible domains to transfer the knowledge across each other. Extensive experiments on $24$ Amazon rating datasets show the effectiveness of JSCN in the cross-domain recommendation, with $9.2\%$ improvement on recall and $36.4\%$ improvement on MAP compared with state-of-the-art methods. Our code is available online ~\footnote{}.

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Decentralized Collaborative Learning Framework for Next POI Recommendation

Mar 30, 2022
Jing Long, Tong Chen, Nguyen Quoc Viet Hung, Hongzhi Yin

Next Point-of-Interest (POI) recommendation has become an indispensable functionality in Location-based Social Networks (LBSNs) due to its effectiveness in helping people decide the next POI to visit. However, accurate recommendation requires a vast amount of historical check-in data, thus threatening user privacy as the location-sensitive data needs to be handled by cloud servers. Although there have been several on-device frameworks for privacy-preserving POI recommendations, they are still resource-intensive when it comes to storage and computation, and show limited robustness to the high sparsity of user-POI interactions. On this basis, we propose a novel decentralized collaborative learning framework for POI recommendation (DCLR), which allows users to train their personalized models locally in a collaborative manner. DCLR significantly reduces the local models' dependence on the cloud for training, and can be used to expand arbitrary centralized recommendation models. To counteract the sparsity of on-device user data when learning each local model, we design two self-supervision signals to pretrain the POI representations on the server with geographical and categorical correlations of POIs. To facilitate collaborative learning, we innovatively propose to incorporate knowledge from either geographically or semantically similar users into each local model with attentive aggregation and mutual information maximization. The collaborative learning process makes use of communications between devices while requiring only minor engagement from the central server for identifying user groups, and is compatible with common privacy preservation mechanisms like differential privacy.

* 21 Pages, 3 figures, 4 tables 

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Pre-training of Context-aware Item Representation for Next Basket Recommendation

Apr 14, 2019
Jingxuan Yang, Jun Xu, Jianzhuo Tong, Sheng Gao, Jun Guo, Jirong Wen

Next basket recommendation, which aims to predict the next a few items that a user most probably purchases given his historical transactions, plays a vital role in market basket analysis. From the viewpoint of item, an item could be purchased by different users together with different items, for different reasons. Therefore, an ideal recommender system should represent an item considering its transaction contexts. Existing state-of-the-art deep learning methods usually adopt the static item representations, which are invariant among all of the transactions and thus cannot achieve the full potentials of deep learning. Inspired by the pre-trained representations of BERT in natural language processing, we propose to conduct context-aware item representation for next basket recommendation, called Item Encoder Representations from Transformers (IERT). In the offline phase, IERT pre-trains deep item representations conditioning on their transaction contexts. In the online recommendation phase, the pre-trained model is further fine-tuned with an additional output layer. The output contextualized item embeddings are used to capture users' sequential behaviors and general tastes to conduct recommendation. Experimental results on the Ta-Feng data set show that IERT outperforms the state-of-the-art baseline methods, which demonstrated the effectiveness of IERT in next basket representation.

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A Generic Network Compression Framework for Sequential Recommender Systems

May 26, 2020
Yang Sun, Fajie Yuan, Min Yang, Guoao Wei, Zhou Zhao, Duo Liu

Sequential recommender systems (SRS) have become the key technology in capturing user's dynamic interests and generating high-quality recommendations. Current state-of-the-art sequential recommender models are typically based on a sandwich-structured deep neural network, where one or more middle (hidden) layers are placed between the input embedding layer and output softmax layer. In general, these models require a large number of parameters (such as using a large embedding dimension or a deep network architecture) to obtain their optimal performance. Despite the effectiveness, at some point, further increasing model size may be harder for model deployment in resource-constraint devices, resulting in longer responding time and larger memory footprint. To resolve the issues, we propose a compressed sequential recommendation framework, termed as CpRec, where two generic model shrinking techniques are employed. Specifically, we first propose a block-wise adaptive decomposition to approximate the input and softmax matrices by exploiting the fact that items in SRS obey a long-tailed distribution. To reduce the parameters of the middle layers, we introduce three layer-wise parameter sharing schemes. We instantiate CpRec using deep convolutional neural network with dilated kernels given consideration to both recommendation accuracy and efficiency. By the extensive ablation studies, we demonstrate that the proposed CpRec can achieve up to 4$\sim$8 times compression rates in real-world SRS datasets. Meanwhile, CpRec is faster during training\inference, and in most cases outperforms its uncompressed counterpart.

* Accepted by SIGIR2020 

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A Duet Recommendation Algorithm Based on Jointly Local and Global Representation Learning

Dec 03, 2020
Xiaoming Liu, Shaocong Wu, Zhaohan Zhang, Zhanwei Zhang, Yu Lan, Chao Shen

Knowledge graph (KG), as the side information, is widely utilized to learn the semantic representations of item/user for recommendation system. The traditional recommendation algorithms usually just depend on user-item interactions, but ignore the inherent web information describing the item/user, which could be formulated by the knowledge graph embedding (KGE) methods to significantly improve applications' performance. In this paper, we propose a knowledge-aware-based recommendation algorithm to capture the local and global representation learning from heterogeneous information. Specifically, the local model and global model can naturally depict the inner patterns in the content-based heterogeneous information and interactive behaviors among the users and items. Based on the method that local and global representations are learned jointly by graph convolutional networks with attention mechanism, the final recommendation probability is calculated by a fully-connected neural network. Extensive experiments are conducted on two real-world datasets to verify the proposed algorithm's validation. The evaluation results indicate that the proposed algorithm surpasses state-of-arts by $10.0\%$, $5.1\%$, $2.5\%$ and $1.8\%$ in metrics of MAE, RMSE, AUC and F1-score at least, respectively. The significant improvements reveal the capacity of our proposal to recommend user/item effectively.

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Dynamic Slate Recommendation with Gated Recurrent Units and Thompson Sampling

Apr 30, 2021
Simen Eide, David S. Leslie, Arnoldo Frigessi

We consider the problem of recommending relevant content to users of an internet platform in the form of lists of items, called slates. We introduce a variational Bayesian Recurrent Neural Net recommender system that acts on time series of interactions between the internet platform and the user, and which scales to real world industrial situations. The recommender system is tested both online on real users, and on an offline dataset collected from a Norwegian web-based marketplace,, that is made public for research. This is one of the first publicly available datasets which includes all the slates that are presented to users as well as which items (if any) in the slates were clicked on. Such a data set allows us to move beyond the common assumption that implicitly assumes that users are considering all possible items at each interaction. Instead we build our likelihood using the items that are actually in the slate, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches theoretically and in experiments. We also introduce a hierarchical prior for the item parameters based on group memberships. Both item parameters and user preferences are learned probabilistically. Furthermore, we combine our model with bandit strategies to ensure learning, and introduce `in-slate Thompson Sampling' which makes use of the slates to maximise explorative opportunities. We show experimentally that explorative recommender strategies perform on par or above their greedy counterparts. Even without making use of exploration to learn more effectively, click rates increase simply because of improved diversity in the recommended slates.

* The code and the data used in the article are available in the following repository: 

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Discovering Collaborative Signals for Next POI Recommendation with Iterative Seq2Graph Augmentation

Jun 30, 2021
Yang Li, Tong Chen, Hongzhi Yin, Zi Huang

Being an indispensable component in location-based social networks, next point-of-interest (POI) recommendation recommends users unexplored POIs based on their recent visiting histories. However, existing work mainly models check-in data as isolated POI sequences, neglecting the crucial collaborative signals from cross-sequence check-in information. Furthermore, the sparse POI-POI transitions restrict the ability of a model to learn effective sequential patterns for recommendation. In this paper, we propose Sequence-to-Graph (Seq2Graph) augmentation for each POI sequence, allowing collaborative signals to be propagated from correlated POIs belonging to other sequences. We then devise a novel Sequence-to-Graph POI Recommender (SGRec), which jointly learns POI embeddings and infers a user's temporal preferences from the graph-augmented POI sequence. To overcome the sparsity of POI-level interactions, we further infuse category-awareness into SGRec with a multi-task learning scheme that captures the denser category-wise transitions. As such, SGRec makes full use of the collaborative signals for learning expressive POI representations, and also comprehensively uncovers multi-level sequential patterns for user preference modelling. Extensive experiments on two real-world datasets demonstrate the superiority of SGRec against state-of-the-art methods in next POI recommendation.

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