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"Recommendation": models, code, and papers

Causality and Correlation Graph Modeling for Effective and Explainable Session-based Recommendation

Jan 27, 2022
Cong Geng, Huizi Wu, Hui Fang

Session-based recommendation which has been witnessed a booming interest recently, focuses on predicting a user's next interested item(s) based on an anonymous session. Most existing studies adopt complex deep learning techniques (e.g., graph neural networks) for effective session-based recommendation. However, they merely address co-occurrence between items, but fail to well distinguish causality and correlation relationship. Considering the varied interpretations and characteristics of causality and correlation relationship between items, in this study, we propose a novel method denoted as CGSR by jointly modeling causality and correlation relationship between items. In particular, we construct cause, effect and correlation graphs from sessions by simultaneously considering the false causality problem. We further design a graph neural network-based method for session-based recommendation. Extensive experiments on three datasets show that our model outperforms other state-of-the-art methods in terms of recommendation accuracy. Moreover, we further propose an explainable framework on CGSR, and demonstrate the explainability of our model via case studies on Amazon dataset.

* submitted to TOIS 

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FairRec: Two-Sided Fairness for Personalized Recommendations in Two-Sided Platforms

Feb 25, 2020
Gourab K. Patro, Arpita Biswas, Niloy Ganguly, Krishna P. Gummadi, Abhijnan Chakraborty

We investigate the problem of fair recommendation in the context of two-sided online platforms, comprising customers on one side and producers on the other. Traditionally, recommendation services in these platforms have focused on maximizing customer satisfaction by tailoring the results according to the personalized preferences of individual customers. However, our investigation reveals that such customer-centric design may lead to unfair distribution of exposure among the producers, which may adversely impact their well-being. On the other hand, a producer-centric design might become unfair to the customers. Thus, we consider fairness issues that span both customers and producers. Our approach involves a novel mapping of the fair recommendation problem to a constrained version of the problem of fairly allocating indivisible goods. Our proposed FairRec algorithm guarantees at least Maximin Share (MMS) of exposure for most of the producers and Envy-Free up to One item (EF1) fairness for every customer. Extensive evaluations over multiple real-world datasets show the effectiveness of FairRec in ensuring two-sided fairness while incurring a marginal loss in the overall recommendation quality.

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From Fully Supervised to Zero Shot Settings for Twitter Hashtag Recommendation

Jun 11, 2019
Abhay Kumar, Nishant Jain, Suraj Tripathi, Chirag Singh

We propose a comprehensive end-to-end pipeline for Twitter hashtags recommendation system including data collection, supervised training setting and zero shot training setting. In the supervised training setting, we have proposed and compared the performance of various deep learning architectures, namely Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) and Transformer Network. However, it is not feasible to collect data for all possible hashtag labels and train a classifier model on them. To overcome this limitation, we propose a Zero Shot Learning (ZSL) paradigm for predicting unseen hashtag labels by learning the relationship between the semantic space of tweets and the embedding space of hashtag labels. We evaluated various state-of-the-art ZSL methods like Convex combination of Semantic Embedding (ConSE), Embarrassingly Simple Zero-Shot Learning (ESZSL) and Deep Embedding Model for Zero-Shot Learning (DEM-ZSL) for the hashtag recommendation task. We demonstrate the effectiveness and scalability of ZSL methods for the recommendation of unseen hashtags. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative evaluation of ZSL methods to date for unseen hashtags recommendations from tweet text.

* Accepted in CICLing 2019 

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Empowering Next POI Recommendation with Multi-Relational Modeling

Apr 24, 2022
Zheng Huang, Jing Ma, Yushun Dong, Natasha Zhang Foutz, Jundong Li

With the wide adoption of mobile devices and web applications, location-based social networks (LBSNs) offer large-scale individual-level location-related activities and experiences. Next point-of-interest (POI) recommendation is one of the most important tasks in LBSNs, aiming to make personalized recommendations of next suitable locations to users by discovering preferences from users' historical activities. Noticeably, LBSNs have offered unparalleled access to abundant heterogeneous relational information about users and POIs (including user-user social relations, such as families or colleagues; and user-POI visiting relations). Such relational information holds great potential to facilitate the next POI recommendation. However, most existing methods either focus on merely the user-POI visits, or handle different relations based on over-simplified assumptions while neglecting relational heterogeneities. To fill these critical voids, we propose a novel framework, MEMO, which effectively utilizes the heterogeneous relations with a multi-network representation learning module, and explicitly incorporates the inter-temporal user-POI mutual influence with the coupled recurrent neural networks. Extensive experiments on real-world LBSN data validate the superiority of our framework over the state-of-the-art next POI recommendation methods.

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Sequence Adaptation via Reinforcement Learning in Recommender Systems

Jul 31, 2021
Stefanos Antaris, Dimitrios Rafailidis

Accounting for the fact that users have different sequential patterns, the main drawback of state-of-the-art recommendation strategies is that a fixed sequence length of user-item interactions is required as input to train the models. This might limit the recommendation accuracy, as in practice users follow different trends on the sequential recommendations. Hence, baseline strategies might ignore important sequential interactions or add noise to the models with redundant interactions, depending on the variety of users' sequential behaviours. To overcome this problem, in this study we propose the SAR model, which not only learns the sequential patterns but also adjusts the sequence length of user-item interactions in a personalized manner. We first design an actor-critic framework, where the RL agent tries to compute the optimal sequence length as an action, given the user's state representation at a certain time step. In addition, we optimize a joint loss function to align the accuracy of the sequential recommendations with the expected cumulative rewards of the critic network, while at the same time we adapt the sequence length with the actor network in a personalized manner. Our experimental evaluation on four real-world datasets demonstrates the superiority of our proposed model over several baseline approaches. Finally, we make our implementation publicly available at

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Machine Assistance for Credit Card Approval? Random Wheel can Recommend and Explain

May 11, 2021
Anupam Khan, Soumya K. Ghosh

Approval of credit card application is one of the censorious business decision the bankers are usually taking regularly. The growing number of new card applications and the enormous outstanding amount of credit card bills during the recent pandemic make this even more challenging nowadays. Some of the previous studies suggest the usage of machine intelligence for automating the approval process to mitigate this challenge. However, the effectiveness of such automation may depend on the richness of the training dataset and model efficiency. We have recently developed a novel classifier named random wheel which provides a more interpretable output. In this work, we have used an enhanced version of random wheel to facilitate a trustworthy recommendation for credit card approval process. It not only produces more accurate and precise recommendation but also provides an interpretable confidence measure. Besides, it explains the machine recommendation for each credit card application as well. The availability of recommendation confidence and explanation could bring more trust in the machine provided intelligence which in turn can enhance the efficiency of the credit card approval process.

* 14 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables 

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On the Value of Bandit Feedback for Offline Recommender System Evaluation

Jul 26, 2019
Olivier Jeunen, David Rohde, Flavian Vasile

In academic literature, recommender systems are often evaluated on the task of next-item prediction. The procedure aims to give an answer to the question: "Given the natural sequence of user-item interactions up to time t, can we predict which item the user will interact with at time t+1?". Evaluation results obtained through said methodology are then used as a proxy to predict which system will perform better in an online setting. The online setting, however, poses a subtly different question: "Given the natural sequence of user-item interactions up to time t, can we get the user to interact with a recommended item at time t+1?". From a causal perspective, the system performs an intervention, and we want to measure its effect. Next-item prediction is often used as a fall-back objective when information about interventions and their effects (shown recommendations and whether they received a click) is unavailable. When this type of data is available, however, it can provide great value for reliably estimating online recommender system performance. Through a series of simulated experiments with the RecoGym environment, we show where traditional offline evaluation schemes fall short. Additionally, we show how so-called bandit feedback can be exploited for effective offline evaluation that more accurately reflects online performance.

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The Response Shift Paradigm to Quantify Human Trust in AI Recommendations

Feb 16, 2022
Ali Shafti, Victoria Derks, Hannah Kay, A. Aldo Faisal

Explainability, interpretability and how much they affect human trust in AI systems are ultimately problems of human cognition as much as machine learning, yet the effectiveness of AI recommendations and the trust afforded by end-users are typically not evaluated quantitatively. We developed and validated a general purpose Human-AI interaction paradigm which quantifies the impact of AI recommendations on human decisions. In our paradigm we confronted human users with quantitative prediction tasks: asking them for a first response, before confronting them with an AI's recommendations (and explanation), and then asking the human user to provide an updated final response. The difference between final and first responses constitutes the shift or sway in the human decision which we use as metric of the AI's recommendation impact on the human, representing the trust they place on the AI. We evaluated this paradigm on hundreds of users through Amazon Mechanical Turk using a multi-branched experiment confronting users with good/poor AI systems that had good, poor or no explainability. Our proof-of-principle paradigm allows one to quantitatively compare the rapidly growing set of XAI/IAI approaches in terms of their effect on the end-user and opens up the possibility of (machine) learning trust.

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An Adaptive Boosting Technique to Mitigate Popularity Bias in Recommender System

Sep 13, 2021
Ajay Gangwar, Shweta Jain

The observed ratings in most recommender systems are subjected to popularity bias and are thus not randomly missing. Due to this, only a few popular items are recommended, and a vast number of non-popular items are hardly recommended. Not suggesting the non-popular items lead to fewer products dominating the market and thus offering fewer opportunities for creativity and innovation. In the literature, several fair algorithms have been proposed which mainly focused on improving the accuracy of the recommendation system. However, a typical accuracy measure is biased towards popular items, i.e., it promotes better accuracy for popular items compared to non-popular items. This paper considers a metric that measures the popularity bias as the difference in error on popular items and non-popular items. Motivated by the fair boosting algorithm on classification, we propose an algorithm that reduces the popularity bias present in the data while maintaining accuracy within acceptable limits. The main idea of our algorithm is that it lifts the weights of the non-popular items, which are generally underrepresented in the data. With the help of comprehensive experiments on real-world datasets, we show that our proposed algorithm outperforms the existing algorithms on the proposed popularity bias metric.

* 7 pages, 8 figures, Accepted in FAccTRec 

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Leveraging Two Types of Global Graph for Sequential Fashion Recommendation

May 30, 2021
Yujuan Ding, Yunshan Ma, Wai Keung Wong, Tat-Seng Chua

Sequential fashion recommendation is of great significance in online fashion shopping, which accounts for an increasing portion of either fashion retailing or online e-commerce. The key to building an effective sequential fashion recommendation model lies in capturing two types of patterns: the personal fashion preference of users and the transitional relationships between adjacent items. The two types of patterns are usually related to user-item interaction and item-item transition modeling respectively. However, due to the large sets of users and items as well as the sparse historical interactions, it is difficult to train an effective and efficient sequential fashion recommendation model. To tackle these problems, we propose to leverage two types of global graph, i.e., the user-item interaction graph and item-item transition graph, to obtain enhanced user and item representations by incorporating higher-order connections over the graphs. In addition, we adopt the graph kernel of LightGCN for the information propagation in both graphs and propose a new design for item-item transition graph. Extensive experiments on two established sequential fashion recommendation datasets validate the effectiveness and efficiency of our approach.

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