BARS: Towards Open Benchmarking for Recommender Systems

The past two decades have witnessed the rapid development of personalized recommendation techniques. Despite significant progress made in both research and practice of recommender systems, to date, there is a lack of a widely-recognized benchmarking standard in this field. Many existing studies perform model evaluations and comparisons in an ad-hoc manner, for example, by employing their own private data splits or using different experimental settings. Such conventions not only increase the difficulty in reproducing existing studies, but also lead to inconsistent experimental results among them. This largely limits the credibility and practical value of research results in this field. To tackle these issues, we present an initiative project (namely BARS) aiming for open benchmarking for recommender systems. In comparison to some earlier attempts towards this goal, we take a further step by setting up a standardized benchmarking pipeline for reproducible research, which integrates all the details about datasets, source code, hyper-parameter settings, running logs, and evaluation results. The benchmark is designed with comprehensiveness and sustainability in mind. It covers both matching and ranking tasks, and also enables researchers to easily follow and contribute to the research in this field. This project will not only reduce the redundant efforts of researchers to re-implement or re-run existing baselines, but also drive more solid and reproducible research on recommender systems. We would like to call upon everyone to use the BARS benchmark for future evaluation, and contribute to the project through the portal at:

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