u-cf2vec: Representation Learning for Personalized Algorithm Selection in Recommender Systems

Tomas Sousa-Pereira, Tiago Cunha, Carlos Soares

Collaborative Filtering (CF) has become the standard approach to solve recommendation systems (RS) problems. Collaborative Filtering algorithms try to make predictions about interests of a user by collecting the personal interests from multiple users. There are multiple CF algorithms, each one of them with its own biases. It is the Machine Learning practitioner that has to choose the best algorithm for each task beforehand. In Recommender Systems, different algorithms have different performance for different users within the same dataset. Meta Learning (MtL) has been used to choose the best algorithm for a given problem. Meta Learning is usually applied to select algorithms for a whole dataset. Adapting it to select the to the algorithm for a single user in a RS involves several challenges. The most important is the design of the metafeatures which, in typical meta learning, characterize datasets while here, they must characterize a single user. This work presents a new meta-learning based framework named $\mu$-cf2vec to select the best algorithm for each user. We propose using Representation Learning techniques to extract the metafeatures. Representation Learning tries to extract representations that can be reused in other learning tasks. In this work we also implement the framework using different RL techniques to evaluate which one can be more useful to solve this task. In the meta level, the meta learning model will use the metafeatures to extract knowledge that will be used to predict the best algorithm for each user. We evaluated an implementation of this framework using MovieLens 20M dataset. Our implementation achieved consistent gains in the meta level, however, in the base level we only achieved marginal gains.

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