User behavior data in recommender systems are driven by the complex interactions of many latent factors behind the users' decision making processes. The factors are highly entangled, and may range from high-level ones that govern user intentions, to low-level ones that characterize a user's preference when executing an intention. Learning representations that uncover and disentangle these latent factors can bring enhanced robustness, interpretability, and controllability. However, learning such disentangled representations from user behavior is challenging, and remains largely neglected by the existing literature. In this paper, we present the MACRo-mIcro Disentangled Variational Auto-Encoder (MacridVAE) for learning disentangled representations from user behavior. Our approach achieves macro disentanglement by inferring the high-level concepts associated with user intentions (e.g., to buy a shirt or a cellphone), while capturing the preference of a user regarding the different concepts separately. A micro-disentanglement regularizer, stemming from an information-theoretic interpretation of VAEs, then forces each dimension of the representations to independently reflect an isolated low-level factor (e.g., the size or the color of a shirt). Empirical results show that our approach can achieve substantial improvement over the state-of-the-art baselines. We further demonstrate that the learned representations are interpretable and controllable, which can potentially lead to a new paradigm for recommendation where users are given fine-grained control over targeted aspects of the recommendation lists.
With the explosion of online news, personalized news recommendation becomes increasingly important for online news platforms to help their users find interesting information. Existing news recommendation methods achieve personalization by building accurate news representations from news content and user representations from their direct interactions with news (e.g., click), while ignoring the high-order relatedness between users and news. Here we propose a news recommendation method which can enhance the representation learning of users and news by modeling their relatedness in a graph setting. In our method, users and news are both viewed as nodes in a bipartite graph constructed from historical user click behaviors. For news representations, a transformer architecture is first exploited to build news semantic representations. Then we combine it with the information from neighbor news in the graph via a graph attention network. For user representations, we not only represent users from their historically clicked news, but also attentively incorporate the representations of their neighbor users in the graph. Improved performances on a large-scale real-world dataset validate the effectiveness of our proposed method.
Mining graph data has become a popular research topic in computer science and has been widely studied in both academia and industry given the increasing amount of network data in the recent years. However, the huge amount of network data has posed great challenges for efficient analysis. This motivates the advent of graph representation which maps the graph into a low-dimension vector space, keeping original graph structure and supporting graph inference. The investigation on efficient representation of a graph has profound theoretical significance and important realistic meaning, we therefore introduce some basic ideas in graph representation/network embedding as well as some representative models in this chapter.
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.
In recent years, Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), which can naturally integrate node information and topological structure, have been demonstrated to be powerful in learning on graph data. These advantages of GNNs provide great potential to advance social recommendation since data in social recommender systems can be represented as user-user social graph and user-item graph; and learning latent factors of users and items is the key. However, building social recommender systems based on GNNs faces challenges. For example, the user-item graph encodes both interactions and their associated opinions; social relations have heterogeneous strengths; users involve in two graphs (e.g., the user-user social graph and the user-item graph). To address the three aforementioned challenges simultaneously, in this paper, we present a novel graph neural network framework (GraphRec) for social recommendations. In particular, we provide a principled approach to jointly capture interactions and opinions in the user-item graph and propose the framework GraphRec, which coherently models two graphs and heterogeneous strengths. Extensive experiments on two real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework GraphRec.
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.
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.
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.
We propose a novel recommendation method based on tree. With user behavior data, the tree based model can capture user interests from coarse to fine, by traversing nodes top down and make decisions whether to pick up each node to user. Compared to traditional model-based methods like matrix factorization (MF), our tree based model does not have to fetch and estimate each item in the entire set. Instead, candidates are drawn from subsets corresponding to user's high-level interests, which is defined by the tree structure. Meanwhile, finding candidates from the entire corpus brings more novelty than content-based approaches like item-based collaborative filtering.Moreover, in this paper, we show that the tree structure can also act to refine user interests distribution, to benefit both training and prediction. The experimental results in both open dataset and Taobao display advertising dataset indicate that the proposed method outperforms existing methods.
We present DeepWalk, a novel approach for learning latent representations of vertices in a network. These latent representations encode social relations in a continuous vector space, which is easily exploited by statistical models. DeepWalk generalizes recent advancements in language modeling and unsupervised feature learning (or deep learning) from sequences of words to graphs. DeepWalk uses local information obtained from truncated random walks to learn latent representations by treating walks as the equivalent of sentences. We demonstrate DeepWalk's latent representations on several multi-label network classification tasks for social networks such as BlogCatalog, Flickr, and YouTube. Our results show that DeepWalk outperforms challenging baselines which are allowed a global view of the network, especially in the presence of missing information. DeepWalk's representations can provide $F_1$ scores up to 10% higher than competing methods when labeled data is sparse. In some experiments, DeepWalk's representations are able to outperform all baseline methods while using 60% less training data. DeepWalk is also scalable. It is an online learning algorithm which builds useful incremental results, and is trivially parallelizable. These qualities make it suitable for a broad class of real world applications such as network classification, and anomaly detection.