Published on Sun Feb 28 2021

Explore User Neighborhood for Real-time E-commerce Recommendation

Xu Xie, Fei Sun, Xiaoyong Yang, Zhao Yang, Jinyang Gao, Wenwu Ou, Bin Cui

Recommender systems play a vital role in modern online services, such as Amazon and Taobao. Traditional personalized methods, which focus on user-item(UI) relations, have been widely applied in industrial settings. We argue that these approaches ignore local information hidden in similar users.

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Abstract

Recommender systems play a vital role in modern online services, such as Amazon and Taobao. Traditional personalized methods, which focus on user-item (UI) relations, have been widely applied in industrial settings, owing to their efficiency and effectiveness. Despite their success, we argue that these approaches ignore local information hidden in similar users. To tackle this problem, user-based methods exploit similar user relations to make recommendations in a local perspective. Nevertheless, traditional user-based methods, like userKNN and matrix factorization, are intractable to be deployed in the real-time applications since such transductive models have to be recomputed or retrained with any new interaction. To overcome this challenge, we propose a framework called self-complementary collaborative filtering~(SCCF) which can make recommendations with both global and local information in real time. On the one hand, it utilizes UI relations and user neighborhood to capture both global and local information. On the other hand, it can identify similar users for each user in real time by inferring user representations on the fly with an inductive model. The proposed framework can be seamlessly incorporated into existing inductive UI approach and benefit from user neighborhood with little additional computation. It is also the first attempt to apply user-based methods in real-time settings. The effectiveness and efficiency of SCCF are demonstrated through extensive offline experiments on four public datasets, as well as a large scale online A/B test in Taobao.

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