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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ACM/IEEE第23届模型驱动工程语言和系统国际会议,是模型驱动软件和系统工程的首要会议系列,由ACM-SIGSOFT和IEEE-TCSE支持组织。自1998年以来,模型涵盖了建模的各个方面,从语言和方法到工具和应用程序。模特的参加者来自不同的背景,包括研究人员、学者、工程师和工业专业人士。MODELS 2019是一个论坛,参与者可以围绕建模和模型驱动的软件和系统交流前沿研究成果和创新实践经验。今年的版本将为建模社区提供进一步推进建模基础的机会,并在网络物理系统、嵌入式系统、社会技术系统、云计算、大数据、机器学习、安全、开源等新兴领域提出建模的创新应用以及可持续性。 官网链接:http://www.modelsconference.org/

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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Knowledge graphs capture structured information and relations between a set of entities or items. As such they represent an attractive source of information that could help improve recommender systems. However existing approaches in this domain rely on manual feature engineering and do not allow for end-to-end training. Here we propose knowledge-aware graph neural networks with label smoothness regularization to provide better recommendations. Conceptually, our approach computes user-specific item embeddings by first applying a trainable function that identifies important knowledge graph relationships for a given user. This way we transform the knowledge graph into a user-specific weighted graph and then applies a graph neural network to compute personalized item embeddings. To provide better inductive bias, we use label smoothness, which assumes that adjacent items in the knowledge graph are likely to have similar user relevance labels/scores. Label smoothness provides regularization over edge weights and we prove that it is equivalent to a label propagation scheme on a graph. Finally, we combine knowledge-aware graph neural networks and label smoothness and present the unified model. Experiment results show that our method outperforms strong baselines in four datasets. It also achieves strong performance in the scenario where user-item interactions are sparse.

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To provide more accurate, diverse, and explainable recommendation, it is compulsory to go beyond modeling user-item interactions and take side information into account. Traditional methods like factorization machine (FM) cast it as a supervised learning problem, which assumes each interaction as an independent instance with side information encoded. Due to the overlook of the relations among instances or items (e.g., the director of a movie is also an actor of another movie), these methods are insufficient to distill the collaborative signal from the collective behaviors of users. In this work, we investigate the utility of knowledge graph (KG), which breaks down the independent interaction assumption by linking items with their attributes. We argue that in such a hybrid structure of KG and user-item graph, high-order relations --- which connect two items with one or multiple linked attributes --- are an essential factor for successful recommendation. We propose a new method named Knowledge Graph Attention Network (KGAT) which explicitly models the high-order connectivities in KG in an end-to-end fashion. It recursively propagates the embeddings from a node's neighbors (which can be users, items, or attributes) to refine the node's embedding, and employs an attention mechanism to discriminate the importance of the neighbors. Our KGAT is conceptually advantageous to existing KG-based recommendation methods, which either exploit high-order relations by extracting paths or implicitly modeling them with regularization. Empirical results on three public benchmarks show that KGAT significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods like Neural FM and RippleNet. Further studies verify the efficacy of embedding propagation for high-order relation modeling and the interpretability benefits brought by the attention mechanism.

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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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To address the sparsity and cold start problem of collaborative filtering, researchers usually make use of side information, such as social networks or item attributes, to improve recommendation performance. This paper considers the knowledge graph as the source of side information. To address the limitations of existing embedding-based and path-based methods for knowledge-graph-aware recommendation, we propose Ripple Network, an end-to-end framework that naturally incorporates the knowledge graph into recommender systems. Similar to actual ripples propagating on the surface of water, Ripple Network stimulates the propagation of user preferences over the set of knowledge entities by automatically and iteratively extending a user's potential interests along links in the knowledge graph. The multiple "ripples" activated by a user's historically clicked items are thus superposed to form the preference distribution of the user with respect to a candidate item, which could be used for predicting the final clicking probability. Through extensive experiments on real-world datasets, we demonstrate that Ripple Network achieves substantial gains in a variety of scenarios, including movie, book and news recommendation, over several state-of-the-art baselines.

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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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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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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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To address the sparsity and cold start problem of collaborative filtering, researchers usually make use of side information, such as social networks or item attributes, to improve recommendation performance. This paper considers the knowledge graph as the source of side information. To address the limitations of existing embedding-based and path-based methods for knowledge-graph-aware recommendation, we propose Ripple Network, an end-to-end framework that naturally incorporates the knowledge graph into recommender systems. Similar to actual ripples propagating on the surface of water, Ripple Network stimulates the propagation of user preferences over the set of knowledge entities by automatically and iteratively extending a user's potential interests along links in the knowledge graph. The multiple "ripples" activated by a user's historically clicked items are thus superposed to form the preference distribution of the user with respect to a candidate item, which could be used for predicting the final clicking probability. Through extensive experiments on real-world datasets, we demonstrate that Ripple Network achieves substantial gains in a variety of scenarios, including movie, book and news recommendation, over several state-of-the-art baselines.

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