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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分类学是分类的实践和科学。Wikipedia类别说明了一种分类法,可以通过自动方式提取Wikipedia类别的完整分类法。截至2009年,已经证明,可以使用人工构建的分类法(例如像WordNet这样的计算词典的分类法)来改进和重组Wikipedia类别分类法。 从广义上讲,分类法还适用于除父子层次结构以外的关系方案,例如网络结构。然后分类法可能包括有多父母的单身孩子,例如,“汽车”可能与父母双方一起出现“车辆”和“钢结构”;但是对某些人而言,这仅意味着“汽车”是几种不同分类法的一部分。分类法也可能只是将事物组织成组,或者是按字母顺序排列的列表;但是在这里,术语词汇更合适。在知识管理中的当前用法中,分类法被认为比本体论窄,因为本体论应用了各种各样的关系类型。 在数学上,分层分类法是给定对象集的分类树结构。该结构的顶部是适用于所有对象的单个分类,即根节点。此根下的节点是更具体的分类,适用于总分类对象集的子集。推理的进展从一般到更具体。

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Interest in the field of Explainable Artificial Intelligence has been growing for decades and has accelerated recently. As Artificial Intelligence models have become more complex, and often more opaque, with the incorporation of complex machine learning techniques, explainability has become more critical. Recently, researchers have been investigating and tackling explainability with a user-centric focus, looking for explanations to consider trustworthiness, comprehensibility, explicit provenance, and context-awareness. In this chapter, we leverage our survey of explanation literature in Artificial Intelligence and closely related fields and use these past efforts to generate a set of explanation types that we feel reflect the expanded needs of explanation for today's artificial intelligence applications. We define each type and provide an example question that would motivate the need for this style of explanation. We believe this set of explanation types will help future system designers in their generation and prioritization of requirements and further help generate explanations that are better aligned to users' and situational needs.

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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 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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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.

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There is an increasing demand for algorithms to explain their outcomes. So far, there is no method that explains the rankings produced by a ranking algorithm. To address this gap we propose LISTEN, a LISTwise ExplaiNer, to explain rankings produced by a ranking algorithm. To efficiently use LISTEN in production, we train a neural network to learn the underlying explanation space created by LISTEN; we call this model Q-LISTEN. We show that LISTEN produces faithful explanations and that Q-LISTEN is able to learn these explanations. Moreover, we show that LISTEN is safe to use in a real world environment: users of a news recommendation system do not behave significantly differently when they are exposed to explanations generated by LISTEN instead of manually generated explanations.

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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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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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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.

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