Compressive Features in Offline Reinforcement Learning for Recommender Systems

16 Nov 2021  ·  Hung Nguyen, Minh Nguyen, Long Pham, Jennifer Adorno Nieves ·

In this paper, we develop a recommender system for a game that suggests potential items to players based on their interactive behaviors to maximize revenue for the game provider. Our approach is built on a reinforcement learning-based technique and is trained on an offline data set that is publicly available on an IEEE Big Data Cup challenge. The limitation of the offline data set and the curse of high dimensionality pose significant obstacles to solving this problem. Our proposed method focuses on improving the total rewards and performance by tackling these main difficulties. More specifically, we utilized sparse PCA to extract important features of user behaviors. Our Q-learning-based system is then trained from the processed offline data set. To exploit all possible information from the provided data set, we cluster user features to different groups and build an independent Q-table for each group. Furthermore, to tackle the challenge of unknown formula for evaluation metrics, we design a metric to self-evaluate our system's performance based on the potential value the game provider might achieve and a small collection of actual evaluation metrics that we obtain from the live scoring environment. Our experiments show that our proposed metric is consistent with the results published by the challenge organizers. We have implemented the proposed training pipeline, and the results show that our method outperforms current state-of-the-art methods in terms of both total rewards and training speed. By addressing the main challenges and leveraging the state-of-the-art techniques, we have achieved the best public leaderboard result in the challenge. Furthermore, our proposed method achieved an estimated score of approximately 20% better and can be trained faster by 30 times than the best of the current state-of-the-art methods.

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