recommender system

Automatic Generation of Social Tags for Music Recommendation

Neural Information Processing Systems

Social tags are user-generated keywords associated with some resource on the Web. In the case of music, social tags have become an important component of Web2.0" recommender systems, allowing users to generate playlists based on use-dependent terms such as "chill" or "jogging" that have been applied to particular songs. In this paper, we propose a method for predicting these social tags directly from MP3 files. Using a set of boosted classifiers, we map audio features onto social tags collected from the Web. The resulting automatic tags (or "autotags") furnish information about music that is otherwise untagged or poorly tagged, allowing for insertion of previously unheard music into a social recommender. This avoids the ''cold-start problem'' common in such systems. Autotags can also be used to smooth the tag space from which similarities and recommendations are made by providing a set of comparable baseline tags for all tracks in a recommender system."

Controlling privacy in recommender systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recommender systems involve an inherent trade-off between accuracy of recommendations and the extent to which users are willing to release information about their preferences. In this paper, we explore a two-tiered notion of privacy where there is a small set of public'' users who are willing to share their preferences openly, and a large set of private'' users who require privacy guarantees. We show theoretically and demonstrate empirically that a moderate number of public users with no access to private user information already suffices for reasonable accuracy. Moreover, we introduce a new privacy concept for gleaning relational information from private users while maintaining a first order deniability. We demonstrate gains from controlled access to private user preferences.

Software commodities are eating interesting data science work


The passage of time makes wizards of us all. Today, any dullard can make bells ring across the ocean by tapping out phone numbers, cause inanimate toys to march by barking an order, or activate remote devices by touching a wireless screen. Thomas Edison couldn't have managed any of this at his peak--and shortly before his time, such powers would have been considered the unique realm of God. Being a data scientist can sometimes feel like a race against software innovations. Every interesting and useful problem is bound to become a software commodity.

Probabilistic low-rank matrix completion on finite alphabets

Neural Information Processing Systems

The task of reconstructing a matrix given a sample of observed entries is known as the \emph{matrix completion problem}. Such a consideration arises in a wide variety of problems, including recommender systems, collaborative filtering, dimensionality reduction, image processing, quantum physics or multi-class classification to name a few. Most works have focused on recovering an unknown real-valued low-rank matrix from randomly sub-sampling its entries. Here, we investigate the case where the observations take a finite numbers of values, corresponding for examples to ratings in recommender systems or labels in multi-class classification. We also consider a general sampling scheme (non-necessarily uniform) over the matrix entries.

Maximizing Induced Cardinality Under a Determinantal Point Process

Neural Information Processing Systems

Determinantal point processes (DPPs) are well-suited to recommender systems where the goal is to generate collections of diverse, high-quality items. In the existing literature this is usually formulated as finding the mode of the DPP (the so-called MAP set). However, the MAP objective inherently assumes that the DPP models "optimal" recommendation sets, and yet obtaining such a DPP is nontrivial when there is no ready source of example optimal sets. In this paper we advocate an alternative framework for applying DPPs to recommender systems. Our approach assumes that the DPP simply models user engagements with recommended items, which is more consistent with how DPPs for recommender systems are typically trained.

DropoutNet: Addressing Cold Start in Recommender Systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Latent models have become the default choice for recommender systems due to their performance and scalability. However, research in this area has primarily focused on modeling user-item interactions, and few latent models have been developed for cold start. Deep learning has recently achieved remarkable success showing excellent results for diverse input types. Inspired by these results we propose a neural network based latent model called DropoutNet to address the cold start problem in recommender systems. Unlike existing approaches that incorporate additional content-based objective terms, we instead focus on the optimization and show that neural network models can be explicitly trained for cold start through dropout.

Deconvolving Feedback Loops in Recommender Systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Collaborative filtering is a popular technique to infer users' preferences on new content based on the collective information of all users preferences. Recommender systems then use this information to make personalized suggestions to users. When users accept these recommendations it creates a feedback loop in the recommender system, and these loops iteratively influence the collaborative filtering algorithm's predictions over time. We investigate whether it is possible to identify items affected by these feedback loops. We state sufficient assumptions to deconvolve the feedback loops while keeping the inverse solution tractable.

Joint Optimization of Tree-based Index and Deep Model for Recommender Systems

Neural Information Processing Systems

Large-scale industrial recommender systems are usually confronted with computational problems due to the enormous corpus size. To retrieve and recommend the most relevant items to users under response time limits, resorting to an efficient index structure is an effective and practical solution. The previous work Tree-based Deep Model (TDM) \cite{zhu2018learning} greatly improves recommendation accuracy using tree index. By indexing items in a tree hierarchy and training a user-node preference prediction model satisfying a max-heap like property in the tree, TDM provides logarithmic computational complexity w.r.t. the corpus size, enabling the use of arbitrary advanced models in candidate retrieval and recommendation. In tree-based recommendation methods, the quality of both the tree index and the user-node preference prediction model determines the recommendation accuracy for the most part.

Mixture Matrix Completion

Neural Information Processing Systems

Completing a data matrix X has become an ubiquitous problem in modern data science, with motivations in recommender systems, computer vision, and networks inference, to name a few. One typical assumption is that X is low-rank. A more general model assumes that each column of X corresponds to one of several low-rank matrices. This paper generalizes these models to what we call mixture matrix completion (MMC): the case where each entry of X corresponds to one of several low-rank matrices. MMC is a more accurate model for recommender systems, and brings more flexibility to other completion and clustering problems.

Fighting Boredom in Recommender Systems with Linear Reinforcement Learning

Neural Information Processing Systems

A common assumption in recommender systems (RS) is the existence of a best fixed recommendation strategy. Such strategy may be simple and work at the item level (e.g., in multi-armed bandit it is assumed one best fixed arm/item exists) or implement more sophisticated RS (e.g., the objective of A/B testing is to find the best fixed RS and execute it thereafter). We argue that this assumption is rarely verified in practice, as the recommendation process itself may impact the user's preferences. For instance, a user may get bored by a strategy, while she may gain interest again, if enough time passed since the last time that strategy was used. In this case, a better approach consists in alternating different solutions at the right frequency to fully exploit their potential.