Dynamic-K Recommendation with Personalized Decision Boundary

In this paper, we investigate the recommendation task in the most common scenario with implicit feedback (e.g., clicks, purchases). State-of-the-art methods in this direction usually cast the problem as to learn a personalized ranking on a set of items (e.g., webpages, products). The top-N results are then provided to users as recommendations, where the N is usually a fixed number pre-defined by the system according to some heuristic criteria (e.g., page size, screen size). There is one major assumption underlying this fixed-number recommendation scheme, i.e., there are always sufficient relevant items to users' preferences. Unfortunately, this assumption may not always hold in real-world scenarios. In some applications, there might be very limited candidate items to recommend, and some users may have very high relevance requirement in recommendation. In this way, even the top-1 ranked item may not be relevant to a user's preference. Therefore, we argue that it is critical to provide a dynamic-K recommendation, where the K should be different with respect to the candidate item set and the target user. We formulate this dynamic-K recommendation task as a joint learning problem with both ranking and classification objectives. The ranking objective is the same as existing methods, i.e., to create a ranking list of items according to users' interests. The classification objective is unique in this work, which aims to learn a personalized decision boundary to differentiate the relevant items from irrelevant items. Based on these ideas, we extend two state-of-the-art ranking-based recommendation methods, i.e., BPRMF and HRM, to the corresponding dynamic-K versions, namely DK-BPRMF and DK-HRM. Our experimental results on two datasets show that the dynamic-K models are more effective than the original fixed-N recommendation methods.

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