Sequential recommendation aims to model dynamic user behavior from historical interactions. Self-attentive methods have proven effective at capturing short-term dynamics and long-term preferences. Despite their success, these approaches still struggle to model sparse data, on which they struggle to learn high-quality item representations. We propose to model user dynamics from shopping intents and interacted items simultaneously. The learned intents are coarse-grained and work as prior knowledge for item recommendation. To this end, we present a coarse-to-fine self-attention framework, namely CaFe, which explicitly learns coarse-grained and fine-grained sequential dynamics. Specifically, CaFe first learns intents from coarse-grained sequences which are dense and hence provide high-quality user intent representations. Then, CaFe fuses intent representations into item encoder outputs to obtain improved item representations. Finally, we infer recommended items based on representations of items and corresponding intents. Experiments on sparse datasets show that CaFe outperforms state-of-the-art self-attentive recommenders by 44.03% [email protected] on average.
Real-world item recommenders commonly suffer from a persistent cold-start problem which is caused by dynamically changing users and items. In order to overcome the problem, several context-aware recommendation techniques have been recently proposed. In terms of both feasibility and performance, factorization machine (FM) is one of the most promising methods as generalization of the conventional matrix factorization techniques. However, since online algorithms are suitable for dynamic data, the static FMs are still inadequate. Thus, this paper proposes incremental FMs (iFMs), a general online factorization framework, and specially extends iFMs into an online item recommender. The proposed framework can be a promising baseline for further development of the production recommender systems. Evaluation is done empirically both on synthetic and real-world unstable datasets.
Evaluating the causal effect of recommendations is an important objective because the causal effect on user interactions can directly leads to an increase in sales and user engagement. To select an optimal recommendation model, it is common to conduct A/B testing to compare model performance. However, A/B testing of causal effects requires a large number of users, making such experiments costly and risky. We therefore propose the first interleaving methods that can efficiently compare recommendation models in terms of causal effects. In contrast to conventional interleaving methods, we measure the outcomes of both items on an interleaved list and items not on the interleaved list, since the causal effect is the difference between outcomes with and without recommendations. To ensure that the evaluations are unbiased, we either select items with equal probability or weight the outcomes using inverse propensity scores. We then verify the unbiasedness and efficiency of online evaluation methods through simulated online experiments. The results indicate that our proposed methods are unbiased and that they have superior efficiency to A/B testing.
Current recommendation approaches help online merchants predict, for each visiting user, which subset of their existing products is the most relevant. However, besides being interested in matching users with existing products, merchants are also interested in understanding their users' underlying preferences. This could indeed help them produce or acquire better matching products in the future. We argue that existing recommendation models cannot directly be used to predict the optimal combination of features that will make new products serve better the needs of the target audience. To tackle this, we turn to generative models, which allow us to learn explicitly distributions over product feature combinations both in text and visual space. We develop WARHOL, a product generation and recommendation architecture that takes as input past user shopping activity and generates relevant textual and visual descriptions of novel products. We show that WARHOL can approach the performance of state-of-the-art recommendation models, while being able to generate entirely new products that are relevant to the given user profiles.
Playlists have become a significant part of our listening experience because of the digital cloud-based services such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music. Owing to the meteoric rise in the usage of playlists, recommending playlists is crucial to music services today. Although there has been a lot of work done in playlist prediction, the area of playlist representation hasn't received that level of attention. Over the last few years, sequence-to-sequence models, especially in the field of natural language processing, have shown the effectiveness of learned embeddings in capturing the semantic characteristics of sequences. We can apply similar concepts to music to learn fixed length representations for playlists and use those representations for downstream tasks such as playlist discovery, browsing, and recommendation. In this work, we formulate the problem of learning a fixed-length playlist representation in an unsupervised manner, using Sequence-to-sequence (Seq2seq) models, interpreting playlists as sentences and songs as words. We compare our model with two other encoding architectures for baseline comparison. We evaluate our work using the suite of tasks commonly used for assessing sentence embeddings, along with a few additional tasks pertaining to music, and a recommendation task to study the traits captured by the playlist embeddings and their effectiveness for the purpose of music recommendation.
In recent years, Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), which can naturally integrate node information and topological structure, have been demonstrated to be powerful in learning on graph data. These advantages of GNNs provide great potential to advance social recommendation since data in social recommender systems can be represented as user-user social graph and user-item graph; and learning latent factors of users and items is the key. However, building social recommender systems based on GNNs faces challenges. For example, the user-item graph encodes both interactions and their associated opinions; social relations have heterogeneous strengths; users involve in two graphs (e.g., the user-user social graph and the user-item graph). To address the three aforementioned challenges simultaneously, in this paper, we present a novel graph neural network framework (GraphRec) for social recommendations. In particular, we provide a principled approach to jointly capture interactions and opinions in the user-item graph and propose the framework GraphRec, which coherently models two graphs and heterogeneous strengths. Extensive experiments on two real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework GraphRec.
Based on the success of recommender systems in e-commerce, there is growing interest in their use in matching markets (e.g., labor). While this holds potential for improving market fluidity and fairness, we show in this paper that naively applying existing recommender systems to matching markets is sub-optimal. Considering the standard process where candidates apply and then get evaluated by employers, we present a new recommendation framework to model this interaction mechanism and propose efficient algorithms for computing personalized rankings in this setting. We show that the optimal rankings need to not only account for the potentially divergent preferences of candidates and employers, but they also need to account for capacity constraints. This makes conventional ranking systems that merely rank by some local score (e.g., one-sided or reciprocal relevance) highly sub-optimal -- not only for an individual user, but also for societal goals (e.g., low unemployment). To address this shortcoming, we propose the first method for jointly optimizing the rankings for all candidates in the market to explicitly maximize social welfare. In addition to the theoretical derivation, we evaluate the method both on simulated environments and on data from a real-world networking-recommendation system that we built and fielded at a large computer science conference.
Developing recommendation system for fashion images is challenging due to the inherent ambiguity associated with what criterion a user is looking at. Suggesting multiple images where each output image is similar to the query image on the basis of a different feature or part is one way to mitigate the problem. Existing works for fashion recommendation have used Siamese or Triplet network to learn features between a similar pair and a similar-dissimilar triplet respectively. However, these methods do not provide basic information such as, how two clothing images are similar, or which parts present in the two images make them similar. In this paper, we propose to recommend images by explicitly learning and exploiting part based similarity. We propose a novel approach of learning discriminative features from weakly-supervised data by using visual attention over the parts and a texture encoding network. We show that the learned features surpass the state-of-the-art in retrieval task on DeepFashion dataset. We then use the proposed model to recommend fashion images having an explicit variation with respect to similarity of any of the parts.
Matrix factorization is a popular method to build a recommender system. In such a system, existing users and items are associated to a low-dimension vector called a profile. The profiles of a user and of an item can be combined (via inner product) to predict the rating that the user would get on the item. One important issue of such a system is the so-called cold-start problem: how to allow a user to learn her profile, so that she can then get accurate recommendations? While a profile can be computed if the user is willing to rate well-chosen items and/or provide supplemental attributes or demographics (such as gender), revealing this additional information is known to allow the analyst of the recommender system to infer many more personal sensitive information. We design a protocol to allow privacy-conscious users to benefit from matrix-factorization-based recommender systems while preserving their privacy. More precisely, our protocol enables a user to learn her profile, and from that to predict ratings without the user revealing any personal information. The protocol is secure in the standard model against semi-honest adversaries.