Self-supervised Graph Learning for Recommendation

21 Oct 2020  ·  Jiancan Wu, Xiang Wang, Fuli Feng, Xiangnan He, Liang Chen, Jianxun Lian, Xing Xie ·

Representation learning on user-item graph for recommendation has evolved from using single ID or interaction history to exploiting higher-order neighbors. This leads to the success of graph convolution networks (GCNs) for recommendation such as PinSage and LightGCN. Despite effectiveness, we argue that they suffer from two limitations: (1) high-degree nodes exert larger impact on the representation learning, deteriorating the recommendations of low-degree (long-tail) items; and (2) representations are vulnerable to noisy interactions, as the neighborhood aggregation scheme further enlarges the impact of observed edges. In this work, we explore self-supervised learning on user-item graph, so as to improve the accuracy and robustness of GCNs for recommendation. The idea is to supplement the classical supervised task of recommendation with an auxiliary self-supervised task, which reinforces node representation learning via self-discrimination. Specifically, we generate multiple views of a node, maximizing the agreement between different views of the same node compared to that of other nodes. We devise three operators to generate the views -- node dropout, edge dropout, and random walk -- that change the graph structure in different manners. We term this new learning paradigm as \textit{Self-supervised Graph Learning} (SGL), implementing it on the state-of-the-art model LightGCN. Through theoretical analyses, we find that SGL has the ability of automatically mining hard negatives. Empirical studies on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of SGL, which improves the recommendation accuracy, especially on long-tail items, and the robustness against interaction noises. Our implementations are available at \url{https://github.com/wujcan/SGL}.

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