The slate recommendation problem aims to find the "optimal" ordering of a subset of documents to be presented on a surface that we call "slate". The definition of "optimal" changes depending on the underlying applications but a typical goal is to maximize user engagement with the slate. Solving this problem at scale is hard due to the combinatorial explosion of documents to show and their display positions on the slate. In this paper, we introduce Slate Conditional Variational Auto-Encoders (Slate-CVAE) to generate optimal slates. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first conditional generative model that provides a unified framework for slate recommendation by direct generation. Slate-CVAE automatically takes into account the format of the slate and any biases that the representation causes, thus truly proposing the optimal slate. Additionally, to deal with large corpora of documents, we present a novel approach that uses pretrained document embeddings combined with a soft-nearest-neighbors layer within our CVAE model. Experiments show that on the simulated and real-world datasets, Slate-CVAE outperforms recommender systems that consists of greedily ranking documents by a significant margin while remaining scalable.

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最优化是应用数学的一个分支,主要指在一定条件限制下,选取某种研究方案使目标达到最优的一种方法。最优化问题在当今的军事、工程、管理等领域有着极其广泛的应用。

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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We present collaborative similarity embedding (CSE), a unified framework that exploits comprehensive collaborative relations available in a user-item bipartite graph for representation learning and recommendation. In the proposed framework, we differentiate two types of proximity relations: direct proximity and k-th order neighborhood proximity. While learning from the former exploits direct user-item associations observable from the graph, learning from the latter makes use of implicit associations such as user-user similarities and item-item similarities, which can provide valuable information especially when the graph is sparse. Moreover, for improving scalability and flexibility, we propose a sampling technique that is specifically designed to capture the two types of proximity relations. Extensive experiments on eight benchmark datasets show that CSE yields significantly better performance than state-of-the-art recommendation methods.

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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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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.

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This manuscript surveys reinforcement learning from the perspective of optimization and control with a focus on continuous control applications. It surveys the general formulation, terminology, and typical experimental implementations of reinforcement learning and reviews competing solution paradigms. In order to compare the relative merits of various techniques, this survey presents a case study of the Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) with unknown dynamics, perhaps the simplest and best studied problem in optimal control. The manuscript describes how merging techniques from learning theory and control can provide non-asymptotic characterizations of LQR performance and shows that these characterizations tend to match experimental behavior. In turn, when revisiting more complex applications, many of the observed phenomena in LQR persist. In particular, theory and experiment demonstrate the role and importance of models and the cost of generality in reinforcement learning algorithms. This survey concludes with a discussion of some of the challenges in designing learning systems that safely and reliably interact with complex and uncertain environments and how tools from reinforcement learning and controls might be combined to approach these challenges.

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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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Although Recommender Systems have been comprehensively studied in the past decade both in industry and academia, most of current recommender systems suffer from the fol- lowing issues: 1) The data sparsity of the user-item matrix seriously affect the recommender system quality. As a result, most of traditional recommender system approaches are not able to deal with the users who have rated few items, which is known as cold start problem in recommender system. 2) Traditional recommender systems assume that users are in- dependently and identically distributed and ignore the social relation between users. However, in real life scenario, due to the exponential growth of social networking service, such as facebook and Twitter, social connections between different users play an significant role for recommender system task. In this work, aiming at providing a better recommender sys- tems by incorporating user social network information, we propose a matrix factorization framework with user social connection constraints. Experimental results on the real-life dataset shows that the proposed method performs signifi- cantly better than the state-of-the-art approaches in terms of MAE and RMSE, especially for the cold start users.

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Recommender systems (RSs) provide an effective way of alleviating the information overload problem by selecting personalized items for different users. Latent factors based collaborative filtering (CF) has become the popular approaches for RSs due to its accuracy and scalability. Recently, online social networks and user-generated content provide diverse sources for recommendation beyond ratings. Although {\em social matrix factorization} (Social MF) and {\em topic matrix factorization} (Topic MF) successfully exploit social relations and item reviews, respectively, both of them ignore some useful information. In this paper, we investigate the effective data fusion by combining the aforementioned approaches. First, we propose a novel model {\em \mbox{MR3}} to jointly model three sources of information (i.e., ratings, item reviews, and social relations) effectively for rating prediction by aligning the latent factors and hidden topics. Second, we incorporate the implicit feedback from ratings into the proposed model to enhance its capability and to demonstrate its flexibility. We achieve more accurate rating prediction on real-life datasets over various state-of-the-art methods. Furthermore, we measure the contribution from each of the three data sources and the impact of implicit feedback from ratings, followed by the sensitivity analysis of hyperparameters. Empirical studies demonstrate the effectiveness and efficacy of our proposed model and its extension.

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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.

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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.

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