ReFRS: Resource-efficient Federated Recommender System for Dynamic and Diversified User Preferences
ACM Transactions on Information Systems
Owing to its nature of scalability and privacy by design, federated learning (FL) has received increasing interest in decentralized deep learning. FL has also facilitated recent research on upscaling and privatizing personalized recommendation services, using on-device data to learn recommender models locally. These models are then aggregated globally to obtain a more performant model, while maintaining data privacy. Typically, federated recommender systems (FRSs) do not take into account the
... ck of resources and data availability at the end-devices. In addition, they assume that the interaction data between users and items is i.i.d. and stationary across end-devices (i.e., users), and that all local recommender models can be directly averaged without considering the user's behavioral diversity. However, in real scenarios, recommendations have to be made on end-devices with sparse interaction data and limited resources. Furthermore, users' preferences are heterogeneous and they frequently visit new items. This makes their personal preferences highly skewed, and the straightforwardly aggregated model is thus ill-posed for such non-i.i.d. data. In this paper, we propose Resource Efficient Federated Recommender System (ReFRS) to enable decentralized recommendation with dynamic and diversified user preferences. On the device side, ReFRS consists of a lightweight self-supervised local model built upon the variational autoencoder for learning a user's temporal preference from a sequence of interacted items. On the server side, ReFRS utilizes a scalable semantic sampler to adaptively perform model aggregation within each identified cluster of similar users. The clustering module operates in an asynchronous and dynamic manner to support efficient global model update and cope with shifting user interests. As a result, ReFRS achieves superior performance in terms of both accuracy and scalability, as demonstrated by comparative experiments on real datasets.