A Black-Box Attack Model for Visually-Aware Recommender Systems [article]

Rami Cohen, Oren Sar Shalom, Dietmar Jannach, Amihood Amir
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Due to the advances in deep learning, visually-aware recommender systems (RS) have recently attracted increased research interest. Such systems combine collaborative signals with images, usually represented as feature vectors outputted by pre-trained image models. Since item catalogs can be huge, recommendation service providers often rely on images that are supplied by the item providers. In this work, we show that relying on such external sources can make an RS vulnerable to attacks, where
more » ... goal of the attacker is to unfairly promote certain pushed items. Specifically, we demonstrate how a new visual attack model can effectively influence the item scores and rankings in a black-box approach, i.e., without knowing the parameters of the model. The main underlying idea is to systematically create small human-imperceptible perturbations of the pushed item image and to devise appropriate gradient approximation methods to incrementally raise the pushed item's score. Experimental evaluations on two datasets show that the novel attack model is effective even when the contribution of the visual features to the overall performance of the recommender system is modest.
arXiv:2011.02701v1 fatcat:nccqgmz5tzhojpk2kar4w4fogq