Providing model-generated explanations in recommender systems is important to user experience. State-of-the-art recommendation algorithms -- especially the collaborative filtering (CF) based approaches with shallow or deep models -- usually work with various unstructured information sources for recommendation, such as textual reviews, visual images, and various implicit or explicit feedbacks. Though structured knowledge bases were considered in content-based approaches, they have been largely ignored recently due to the availability of vast amount of data and the learning power of many complex models. However, structured knowledge bases exhibit unique advantages in personalized recommendation systems. When the explicit knowledge about users and items is considered for recommendation, the system could provide highly customized recommendations based on users' historical behaviors and the knowledge is helpful for providing informed explanations regarding the recommended items. In this work, we propose to reason over knowledge base embeddings for explainable recommendation. Specifically, we propose a knowledge base representation learning framework to embed heterogeneous entities for recommendation, and based on the embedded knowledge base, a soft matching algorithm is proposed to generate personalized explanations for the recommended items. Experimental results on real-world e-commerce datasets verified the superior recommendation performance and the explainability power of our approach compared with state-of-the-art baselines.

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知识库(Knowledge Base)是知识工程中结构化,易操作,易利用,全面有组织的知识集群,是针对某一(或某些)领域问题求解的需要,采用某种(或若干)知识表示方式在计算 机存储器中 存储、组织、管理和使用的互相联系的知识片集合。这些知识片包括与领域相关的理论知识、事实数据,由专家经验得到的启发式知识,如某领域内有关的定义、定 理和运算法则以及常识性知识等。

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.

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Explainability and effectiveness are two key aspects for building recommender systems. Prior efforts mostly focus on incorporating side information to achieve better recommendation performance. However, these methods have some weaknesses: (1) prediction of neural network-based embedding methods are hard to explain and debug; (2) symbolic, graph-based approaches (e.g., meta path-based models) require manual efforts and domain knowledge to define patterns and rules, and ignore the item association types (e.g. substitutable and complementary). In this paper, we propose a novel joint learning framework to integrate \textit{induction of explainable rules from knowledge graph} with \textit{construction of a rule-guided neural recommendation model}. The framework encourages two modules to complement each other in generating effective and explainable recommendation: 1) inductive rules, mined from item-centric knowledge graphs, summarize common multi-hop relational patterns for inferring different item associations and provide human-readable explanation for model prediction; 2) recommendation module can be augmented by induced rules and thus have better generalization ability dealing with the cold-start issue. Extensive experiments\footnote{Code and data can be found at: \url{https://github.com/THUIR/RuleRec}} show that our proposed method has achieved significant improvements in item recommendation over baselines on real-world datasets. Our model demonstrates robust performance over "noisy" item knowledge graphs, generated by linking item names to related entities.

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Incorporating knowledge graph (KG) into recommender system is promising in improving the recommendation accuracy and explainability. However, existing methods largely assume that a KG is complete and simply transfer the "knowledge" in KG at the shallow level of entity raw data or embeddings. This may lead to suboptimal performance, since a practical KG can hardly be complete, and it is common that a KG has missing facts, relations, and entities. Thus, we argue that it is crucial to consider the incomplete nature of KG when incorporating it into recommender system. In this paper, we jointly learn the model of recommendation and knowledge graph completion. Distinct from previous KG-based recommendation methods, we transfer the relation information in KG, so as to understand the reasons that a user likes an item. As an example, if a user has watched several movies directed by (relation) the same person (entity), we can infer that the director relation plays a critical role when the user makes the decision, thus help to understand the user's preference at a finer granularity. Technically, we contribute a new translation-based recommendation model, which specially accounts for various preferences in translating a user to an item, and then jointly train it with a KG completion model by combining several transfer schemes. Extensive experiments on two benchmark datasets show that our method outperforms state-of-the-art KG-based recommendation methods. Further analysis verifies the positive effect of joint training on both tasks of recommendation and KG completion, and the advantage of our model in understanding user preference. We publish our project at https://github.com/TaoMiner/joint-kg-recommender.

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Collaborative filtering often suffers from sparsity and cold start problems in real recommendation scenarios, therefore, researchers and engineers usually use side information to address the issues and improve the performance of recommender systems. In this paper, we consider knowledge graphs as the source of side information. We propose MKR, a Multi-task feature learning approach for Knowledge graph enhanced Recommendation. MKR is a deep end-to-end framework that utilizes knowledge graph embedding task to assist recommendation task. The two tasks are associated by cross&compress units, which automatically share latent features and learn high-order interactions between items in recommender systems and entities in the knowledge graph. We prove that cross&compress units have sufficient capability of polynomial approximation, and show that MKR is a generalized framework over several representative methods of recommender systems and multi-task learning. Through extensive experiments on real-world datasets, we demonstrate that MKR achieves substantial gains in movie, book, music, and news recommendation, over state-of-the-art baselines. MKR is also shown to be able to maintain a decent performance even if user-item interactions are sparse.

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Incorporating knowledge graph into recommender systems has attracted increasing attention in recent years. By exploring the interlinks within a knowledge graph, the connectivity between users and items can be discovered as paths, which provide rich and complementary information to user-item interactions. Such connectivity not only reveals the semantics of entities and relations, but also helps to comprehend a user's interest. However, existing efforts have not fully explored this connectivity to infer user preferences, especially in terms of modeling the sequential dependencies within and holistic semantics of a path. In this paper, we contribute a new model named Knowledge-aware Path Recurrent Network (KPRN) to exploit knowledge graph for recommendation. KPRN can generate path representations by composing the semantics of both entities and relations. By leveraging the sequential dependencies within a path, we allow effective reasoning on paths to infer the underlying rationale of a user-item interaction. Furthermore, we design a new weighted pooling operation to discriminate the strengths of different paths in connecting a user with an item, endowing our model with a certain level of explainability. We conduct extensive experiments on two datasets about movie and music, demonstrating significant improvements over state-of-the-art solutions Collaborative Knowledge Base Embedding and Neural Factorization Machine.

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Explainable Recommendation refers to the personalized recommendation algorithms that address the problem of why -- they not only provide the user with the recommendations, but also make the user aware why such items are recommended by generating recommendation explanations, which help to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, persuasiveness, and user satisfaction of recommender systems. In recent years, a large number of explainable recommendation approaches -- especially model-based explainable recommendation algorithms -- have been proposed and adopted in real-world systems. In this survey, we review the work on explainable recommendation that has been published in or before the year of 2018. We first high-light 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 itself in terms of three aspects: 1) We provide a chronological research line of explanations in recommender systems, including the user study approaches in the early years, as well as the more recent model-based approaches. 2) We provide a taxonomy for explainable recommendation algorithms, including user-based, item-based, model-based, and post-model explanations. 3) We summarize the application of explainable recommendation in different recommendation tasks, including product recommendation, social recommendation, POI recommendation, etc. We devote a chapter to discuss the explanation perspectives in the broader IR and machine learning settings, as well as their relationship with explainable recommendation research. We end the survey by discussing potential future research directions to promote the explainable recommendation research area.

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State-of-the-art recommendation algorithms -- especially the collaborative filtering (CF) based approaches with shallow or deep models -- usually work with various unstructured information sources for recommendation, such as textual reviews, visual images, and various implicit or explicit feedbacks. Though structured knowledge bases were considered in content-based approaches, they have been largely neglected recently due to the availability of vast amount of data, and the learning power of many complex models. However, structured knowledge bases exhibit unique advantages in personalized recommendation systems. When the explicit knowledge about users and items is considered for recommendation, the system could provide highly customized recommendations based on users' historical behaviors. A great challenge for using knowledge bases for recommendation is how to integrated large-scale structured and unstructured data, while taking advantage of collaborative filtering for highly accurate performance. Recent achievements on knowledge base embedding sheds light on this problem, which makes it possible to learn user and item representations while preserving the structure of their relationship with external knowledge. In this work, we propose to reason over knowledge base embeddings for personalized recommendation. Specifically, we propose a knowledge base representation learning approach to embed heterogeneous entities for recommendation. Experimental results on real-world dataset verified the superior performance of our approach compared with state-of-the-art baselines.

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Images account for a significant part of user decisions in many application scenarios, such as product images in e-commerce, or user image posts in social networks. It is intuitive that user preferences on the visual patterns of image (e.g., hue, texture, color, etc) can be highly personalized, and this provides us with highly discriminative features to make personalized recommendations. Previous work that takes advantage of images for recommendation usually transforms the images into latent representation vectors, which are adopted by a recommendation component to assist personalized user/item profiling and recommendation. However, such vectors are hardly useful in terms of providing visual explanations to users about why a particular item is recommended, and thus weakens the explainability of recommendation systems. As a step towards explainable recommendation models, we propose visually explainable recommendation based on attentive neural networks to model the user attention on images, under the supervision of both implicit feedback and textual reviews. By this, we can not only provide recommendation results to the users, but also tell the users why an item is recommended by providing intuitive visual highlights in a personalized manner. Experimental results show that our models are not only able to improve the recommendation performance, but also can provide persuasive visual explanations for the users to take the recommendations.

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Online news recommender systems aim to address the information explosion of news and make personalized recommendation for users. In general, news language is highly condensed, full of knowledge entities and common sense. However, existing methods are unaware of such external knowledge and cannot fully discover latent knowledge-level connections among news. The recommended results for a user are consequently limited to simple patterns and cannot be extended reasonably. Moreover, news recommendation also faces the challenges of high time-sensitivity of news and dynamic diversity of users' interests. To solve the above problems, in this paper, we propose a deep knowledge-aware network (DKN) that incorporates knowledge graph representation into news recommendation. DKN is a content-based deep recommendation framework for click-through rate prediction. The key component of DKN is a multi-channel and word-entity-aligned knowledge-aware convolutional neural network (KCNN) that fuses semantic-level and knowledge-level representations of news. KCNN treats words and entities as multiple channels, and explicitly keeps their alignment relationship during convolution. In addition, to address users' diverse interests, we also design an attention module in DKN to dynamically aggregate a user's history with respect to current candidate news. Through extensive experiments on a real online news platform, we demonstrate that DKN achieves substantial gains over state-of-the-art deep recommendation models. We also validate the efficacy of the usage of knowledge in DKN.

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Recommender System (RS) is a hot area where artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can be effectively applied to improve performance. Since the well-known Netflix Challenge, collaborative filtering (CF) has become the most popular and effective recommendation method. Despite their success in CF, various AI techniques still have to face the data sparsity and cold start problems. Previous works tried to solve these two problems by utilizing auxiliary information, such as social connections among users and meta-data of items. However, they process different types of information separately, leading to information loss. In this work, we propose to utilize Heterogeneous Information Network (HIN), which is a natural and general representation of different types of data, to enhance CF-based recommending methods. HIN-based recommender systems face two problems: how to represent high-level semantics for recommendation and how to fuse the heterogeneous information to recommend. To address these problems, we propose to applying meta-graph to HIN-based RS and solve the information fusion problem with a "matrix factorization (MF) + factorization machine (FM)" framework. For the "MF" part, we obtain user-item similarity matrices from each meta-graph and adopt low-rank matrix approximation to get latent features for both users and items. For the "FM" part, we propose to apply FM with Group lasso (FMG) on the obtained features to simultaneously predict missing ratings and select useful meta-graphs. Experimental results on two large real-world datasets, i.e., Amazon and Yelp, show that our proposed approach is better than that of the state-of-the-art FM and other HIN-based recommending methods.

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