With the ever-growing volume, complexity and dynamicity of online information, recommender system has been an effective key solution to overcome such information overload. In recent years, deep learning's revolutionary advances in speech recognition, image analysis and natural language processing have gained significant attention. Meanwhile, recent studies also demonstrate its effectiveness in coping with information retrieval and recommendation tasks. Applying deep learning techniques into recommender system has been gaining momentum due to its state-of-the-art performances and high-quality recommendations. In contrast to traditional recommendation models, deep learning provides a better understanding of user's demands, item's characteristics and historical interactions between them. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of recent research efforts on deep learning based recommender systems towards fostering innovations of recommender system research. A taxonomy of deep learning based recommendation models is presented and used to categorize the surveyed articles. Open problems are identified based on the analytics of the reviewed works and potential solutions discussed.
A comprehensive artificial intelligence system needs to not only perceive the environment with different `senses' (e.g., seeing and hearing) but also infer the world's conditional (or even causal) relations and corresponding uncertainty. The past decade has seen major advances in many perception tasks such as visual object recognition and speech recognition using deep learning models. For higher-level inference, however, probabilistic graphical models with their Bayesian nature are still more powerful and flexible. In recent years, Bayesian deep learning has emerged as a unified probabilistic framework to tightly integrate deep learning and Bayesian models. In this general framework, the perception of text or images using deep learning can boost the performance of higher-level inference and in turn, the feedback from the inference process is able to enhance the perception of text or images. This survey provides a comprehensive introduction to Bayesian deep learning and reviews its recent applications on recommender systems, topic models, control, etc. Besides, we also discuss the relationship and differences between Bayesian deep learning and other related topics such as Bayesian treatment of neural networks.
Reinforcement learning (RL) is a popular paradigm for addressing sequential decision tasks in which the agent has only limited environmental feedback. Despite many advances over the past three decades, learning in many domains still requires a large amount of interaction with the environment, which can be prohibitively expensive in realistic scenarios. To address this problem, transfer learning has been applied to reinforcement learning such that experience gained in one task can be leveraged when starting to learn the next, harder task. More recently, several lines of research have explored how tasks, or data samples themselves, can be sequenced into a curriculum for the purpose of learning a problem that may otherwise be too difficult to learn from scratch. In this article, we present a framework for curriculum learning (CL) in reinforcement learning, and use it to survey and classify existing CL methods in terms of their assumptions, capabilities, and goals. Finally, we use our framework to find open problems and suggest directions for future RL curriculum learning research.
To solve the information explosion problem and enhance user experience in various online applications, recommender systems have been developed to model users preferences. Although numerous efforts have been made toward more personalized recommendations, recommender systems still suffer from several challenges, such as data sparsity and cold start. In recent years, generating recommendations with the knowledge graph as side information has attracted considerable interest. Such an approach can not only alleviate the abovementioned issues for a more accurate recommendation, but also provide explanations for recommended items. In this paper, we conduct a systematical survey of knowledge graph-based recommender systems. We collect recently published papers in this field and summarize them from two perspectives. On the one hand, we investigate the proposed algorithms by focusing on how the papers utilize the knowledge graph for accurate and explainable recommendation. On the other hand, we introduce datasets used in these works. Finally, we propose several potential research directions in this field.
Explainable recommendation attempts to develop models that generate not only high-quality recommendations but also intuitive explanations. The explanations may either be post-hoc or directly come from an explainable model (also called interpretable or transparent model in some context). Explainable recommendation tries to address the problem of why: by providing explanations to users or system designers, it helps humans to understand why certain items are recommended by the algorithm, where the human can either be users or system designers. Explainable recommendation helps to improve the transparency, persuasiveness, effectiveness, trustworthiness, and satisfaction of recommendation systems. In this survey, we review works on explainable recommendation in or before the year of 2019. We first highlight the position of explainable recommendation in recommender system research by categorizing recommendation problems into the 5W, i.e., what, when, who, where, and why. We then conduct a comprehensive survey of explainable recommendation on three perspectives: 1) We provide a chronological research timeline of explainable recommendation, including user study approaches in the early years and more recent model-based approaches. 2) We provide a two-dimensional taxonomy to classify existing explainable recommendation research: one dimension is the information source (or display style) of the explanations, and the other dimension is the algorithmic mechanism to generate explainable recommendations. 3) We summarize how explainable recommendation applies to different recommendation tasks, such as product recommendation, social recommendation, and POI recommendation. We also devote a section to discuss the explanation perspectives in broader IR and AI/ML research. We end the survey by discussing potential future directions to promote the explainable recommendation research area and beyond.
Deep learning has been shown successful in a number of domains, ranging from acoustics, images to natural language processing. However, applying deep learning to the ubiquitous graph data is non-trivial because of the unique characteristics of graphs. Recently, a significant amount of research efforts have been devoted to this area, greatly advancing graph analyzing techniques. In this survey, we comprehensively review different kinds of deep learning methods applied to graphs. We divide existing methods into three main categories: semi-supervised methods including Graph Neural Networks and Graph Convolutional Networks, unsupervised methods including Graph Autoencoders, and recent advancements including Graph Recurrent Neural Networks and Graph Reinforcement Learning. We then provide a comprehensive overview of these methods in a systematic manner following their history of developments. We also analyze the differences of these methods and how to composite different architectures. Finally, we briefly outline their applications and discuss potential future directions.
As a new classification platform, deep learning has recently received increasing attention from researchers and has been successfully applied to many domains. In some domains, like bioinformatics and robotics, it is very difficult to construct a large-scale well-annotated dataset due to the expense of data acquisition and costly annotation, which limits its development. Transfer learning relaxes the hypothesis that the training data must be independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) with the test data, which motivates us to use transfer learning to solve the problem of insufficient training data. This survey focuses on reviewing the current researches of transfer learning by using deep neural network and its applications. We defined deep transfer learning, category and review the recent research works based on the techniques used in deep transfer learning.
Model-based methods for recommender systems have been studied extensively in recent years. In systems with large corpus, however, the calculation cost for the learnt model to predict all user-item preferences is tremendous, which makes full corpus retrieval extremely difficult. To overcome the calculation barriers, models such as matrix factorization resort to inner product form (i.e., model user-item preference as the inner product of user, item latent factors) and indexes to facilitate efficient approximate k-nearest neighbor searches. However, it still remains challenging to incorporate more expressive interaction forms between user and item features, e.g., interactions through deep neural networks, because of the calculation cost. In this paper, we focus on the problem of introducing arbitrary advanced models to recommender systems with large corpus. We propose a novel tree-based method which can provide logarithmic complexity w.r.t. corpus size even with more expressive models such as deep neural networks. Our main idea is to predict user interests from coarse to fine by traversing tree nodes in a top-down fashion and making decisions for each user-node pair. We also show that the tree structure can be jointly learnt towards better compatibility with users' interest distribution and hence facilitate both training and prediction. Experimental evaluations with two large-scale real-world datasets show that the proposed method significantly outperforms traditional methods. Online A/B test results in Taobao display advertising platform also demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method in production environments.
Recommender systems are one of the most successful applications of data mining and machine learning technology in practice. Academic research in the field is historically often based on the matrix completion problem formulation, where for each user-item-pair only one interaction (e.g., a rating) is considered. In many application domains, however, multiple user-item interactions of different types can be recorded over time. And, a number of recent works have shown that this information can be used to build richer individual user models and to discover additional behavioral patterns that can be leveraged in the recommendation process. In this work we review existing works that consider information from such sequentially-ordered user- item interaction logs in the recommendation process. Based on this review, we propose a categorization of the corresponding recommendation tasks and goals, summarize existing algorithmic solutions, discuss methodological approaches when benchmarking what we call sequence-aware recommender systems, and outline open challenges in the area.
In recent years, deep neural networks have yielded state-of-the-art performance on several tasks. Although some recent works have focused on combining deep learning with recommendation, we highlight three issues of existing works. First, most works perform deep content feature learning and resort to matrix factorization, which cannot effectively model the highly complex user-item interaction function. Second, due to the difficulty on training deep neural networks, existing models utilize a shallow architecture, and thus limit the expressive potential of deep learning. Third, neural network models are easy to overfit on the implicit setting, because negative interactions are not taken into account. To tackle these issues, we present a generic recommender framework called Neural Collaborative Autoencoder (NCAE) to perform collaborative filtering, which works well for both explicit feedback and implicit feedback. NCAE can effectively capture the relationship between interactions via a non-linear matrix factorization process. To optimize the deep architecture of NCAE, we develop a three-stage pre-training mechanism that combines supervised and unsupervised feature learning. Moreover, to prevent overfitting on the implicit setting, we propose an error reweighting module and a sparsity-aware data-augmentation strategy. Extensive experiments on three real-world datasets demonstrate that NCAE can significantly advance the state-of-the-art.
Recommender systems play a crucial role in mitigating the problem of information overload by suggesting users' personalized items or services. The vast majority of traditional recommender systems consider the recommendation procedure as a static process and make recommendations following a fixed strategy. In this paper, we propose a novel recommender system with the capability of continuously improving its strategies during the interactions with users. We model the sequential interactions between users and a recommender system as a Markov Decision Process (MDP) and leverage Reinforcement Learning (RL) to automatically learn the optimal strategies via recommending trial-and-error items and receiving reinforcements of these items from users' feedbacks. In particular, we introduce an online user-agent interacting environment simulator, which can pre-train and evaluate model parameters offline before applying the model online. Moreover, we validate the importance of list-wise recommendations during the interactions between users and agent, and develop a novel approach to incorporate them into the proposed framework LIRD for list-wide recommendations. The experimental results based on a real-world e-commerce dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.