Cold-start problems are long-standing challenges for practical recommendations. Most existing recommendation algorithms rely on extensive observed data and are brittle to recommendation scenarios with few interactions. This paper addresses such problems using few-shot learning and meta learning. Our approach is based on the insight that having a good generalization from a few examples relies on both a generic model initialization and an effective strategy for adapting this model to newly arising tasks. To accomplish this, we combine the scenario-specific learning with a model-agnostic sequential meta-learning and unify them into an integrated end-to-end framework, namely Scenario-specific Sequential Meta learner (or s^2 meta). By doing so, our meta-learner produces a generic initial model through aggregating contextual information from a variety of prediction tasks while effectively adapting to specific tasks by leveraging learning-to-learn knowledge. Extensive experiments on various real-world datasets demonstrate that our proposed model can achieve significant gains over the state-of-the-arts for cold-start problems in online recommendation. Deployment is at the Guess You Like session, the front page of the Mobile Taobao.
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.
Few-shot Learning aims to learn classifiers for new classes with only a few training examples per class. Existing meta-learning or metric-learning based few-shot learning approaches are limited in handling diverse domains with various number of labels. The meta-learning approaches train a meta learner to predict weights of homogeneous-structured task-specific networks, requiring a uniform number of classes across tasks. The metric-learning approaches learn one task-invariant metric for all the tasks, and they fail if the tasks diverge. We propose to deal with these limitations with meta metric learning. Our meta metric learning approach consists of task-specific learners, that exploit metric learning to handle flexible labels, and a meta learner, that discovers good parameters and gradient decent to specify the metrics in task-specific learners. Thus the proposed model is able to handle unbalanced classes as well as to generate task-specific metrics. We test our approach in the `$k$-shot $N$-way' few-shot learning setting used in previous work and new realistic few-shot setting with diverse multi-domain tasks and flexible label numbers. Experiments show that our approach attains superior performances in both settings.
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.
In this paper, we propose a novel sequence-aware recommendation model. Our model utilizes self-attention mechanism to infer the item-item relationship from user's historical interactions. With self-attention, it is able to estimate the relative weights of each item in user interaction trajectories to learn better representations for user's transient interests. The model is finally trained in a metric learning framework, taking both short-term and long-term intentions into consideration. Experiments on a wide range of datasets on different domains demonstrate that our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art by a wide margin.
Many current applications use recommendations in order to modify the natural user behavior, such as to increase the number of sales or the time spent on a website. This results in a gap between the final recommendation objective and the classical setup where recommendation candidates are evaluated by their coherence with past user behavior, by predicting either the missing entries in the user-item matrix, or the most likely next event. To bridge this gap, we optimize a recommendation policy for the task of increasing the desired outcome versus the organic user behavior. We show this is equivalent to learning to predict recommendation outcomes under a fully random recommendation policy. To this end, we propose a new domain adaptation algorithm that learns from logged data containing outcomes from a biased recommendation policy and predicts recommendation outcomes according to random exposure. We compare our method against state-of-the-art factorization methods, in addition to new approaches of causal recommendation and show significant improvements.
Movie recommendation systems provide users with ranked lists of movies based on individual's preferences and constraints. Two types of models are commonly used to generate ranking results: long-term models and session-based models. While long-term models represent the interactions between users and movies that are supposed to change slowly across time, session-based models encode the information of users' interests and changing dynamics of movies' attributes in short terms. In this paper, we propose an LSIC model, leveraging Long and Short-term Information in Content-aware movie recommendation using adversarial training. In the adversarial process, we train a generator as an agent of reinforcement learning which recommends the next movie to a user sequentially. We also train a discriminator which attempts to distinguish the generated list of movies from the real records. The poster information of movies is integrated to further improve the performance of movie recommendation, which is specifically essential when few ratings are available. The experiments demonstrate that the proposed model has robust superiority over competitors and sets the state-of-the-art. We will release the source code of this work after publication.
Recommender systems are widely used in big information-based companies such as Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Netflix. A recommender system deals with the problem of information overload by filtering important information fragments according to users' preferences. In light of the increasing success of deep learning, recent studies have proved the benefits of using deep learning in various recommendation tasks. However, most proposed techniques only aim to target individuals, which cannot be efficiently applied in group recommendation. In this paper, we propose a deep learning architecture to solve the group recommendation problem. On the one hand, as different individual preferences in a group necessitate preference trade-offs in making group recommendations, it is essential that the recommendation model can discover substitutes among user behaviors. On the other hand, it has been observed that a user as an individual and as a group member behaves differently. To tackle such problems, we propose using an attention mechanism to capture the impact of each user in a group. Specifically, our model automatically learns the influence weight of each user in a group and recommends items to the group based on its members' weighted preferences. We conduct extensive experiments on four datasets. Our model significantly outperforms baseline methods and shows promising results in applying deep learning to the group recommendation problem.
A recommender system aims to recommend items that a user is interested in among many items. The need for the recommender system has been expanded by the information explosion. Various approaches have been suggested for providing meaningful recommendations to users. One of the proposed approaches is to consider a recommender system as a Markov decision process (MDP) problem and try to solve it using reinforcement learning (RL). However, existing RL-based methods have an obvious drawback. To solve an MDP in a recommender system, they encountered a problem with the large number of discrete actions that bring RL to a larger class of problems. In this paper, we propose a novel RL-based recommender system. We formulate a recommender system as a gridworld game by using a biclustering technique that can reduce the state and action space significantly. Using biclustering not only reduces space but also improves the recommendation quality effectively handling the cold-start problem. In addition, our approach can provide users with some explanation why the system recommends certain items. Lastly, we examine the proposed algorithm on a real-world dataset and achieve a better performance than the widely used recommendation algorithm.
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.
Prevalent techniques in zero-shot learning do not generalize well to other related problem scenarios. Here, we present a unified approach for conventional zero-shot, generalized zero-shot and few-shot learning problems. Our approach is based on a novel Class Adapting Principal Directions (CAPD) concept that allows multiple embeddings of image features into a semantic space. Given an image, our method produces one principal direction for each seen class. Then, it learns how to combine these directions to obtain the principal direction for each unseen class such that the CAPD of the test image is aligned with the semantic embedding of the true class, and opposite to the other classes. This allows efficient and class-adaptive information transfer from seen to unseen classes. In addition, we propose an automatic process for selection of the most useful seen classes for each unseen class to achieve robustness in zero-shot learning. Our method can update the unseen CAPD taking the advantages of few unseen images to work in a few-shot learning scenario. Furthermore, our method can generalize the seen CAPDs by estimating seen-unseen diversity that significantly improves the performance of generalized zero-shot learning. Our extensive evaluations demonstrate that the proposed approach consistently achieves superior performance in zero-shot, generalized zero-shot and few/one-shot learning problems.