Variational Bandwidth Auto-encoder for Hybrid Recommender Systems [article]

Yaochen Zhu, Zhenzhong Chen
2021 arXiv   pre-print
Hybrid recommendations have recently attracted a lot of attention where user features are utilized as auxiliary information to address the sparsity problem caused by insufficient user-item interactions. However, extracted user features generally contain rich multimodal information, and most of them are irrelevant to the recommendation purpose. Therefore, excessive reliance on these features will make the model overfit on noise and difficult to generalize. In this article, we propose a
more » ... l bandwidth auto-encoder (VBAE) for recommendations, aiming to address the sparsity and noise problems simultaneously. VBAE first encodes user collaborative and feature information into Gaussian latent variables via deep neural networks to capture non-linear user similarities. Moreover, by considering the fusion of collaborative and feature variables as a virtual communication channel from an information-theoretic perspective, we introduce a user-dependent channel to dynamically control the information allowed to be accessed from the feature embeddings. A quantum-inspired uncertainty measurement of the hidden rating embeddings is proposed accordingly to infer the channel bandwidth by disentangling the uncertainty information in the ratings from the semantic information. Through this mechanism, VBAE incorporates adequate auxiliary information from user features if collaborative information is insufficient, while avoiding excessive reliance on noisy user features to improve its generalization ability to new users. Extensive experiments conducted on three real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Codes and datasets are released at https://github.com/yaochenzhu/vbae.
arXiv:2105.07597v2 fatcat:eajcoprjefeorbr4qsklmwerwa