Modeling dynamic missingness of implicit feedback for sequential recommendation

Xiaolin Zheng, Menghan Wang, Renjun Xu*, Jianmeng Li, Yan Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Implicit feedback is widely used in collaborative filtering methods for sequential recommendation. It is well known that implicit feedback contains a large number of values that are missing not at random (MNAR); and the missing data is a mixture of negative and unknown feedback, making it difficult to learn users' negative preferences. Recent studies modeled exposure, a latent missingness variable which indicates whether an item is exposed to a user, to give each missing entry a confidence of being negative feedback. However, these studies use static models and ignore the information in temporal dependencies among items, which seems to be an essential underlying factor to subsequent missingness. To model and exploit the dynamics of missingness, we propose a latent variable named "user intent" to govern the temporal changes of item missingness, and a hidden Markov model to represent such a process. The resulting framework captures the dynamic item missingness and incorporates it into matrix factorization (MF) for recommendation. We further extend the proposed framework to capture the dynamic preference of users, which results in a unified framework that is able to model different evolution patterns of user intent and user preference. We also explore two types of constraints to achieve a more compact and interpretable representation of user intents. Experiments on real-world datasets demonstrate the superiority of our method against state-of-the-art recommender systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2020


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