IFedRec: Item-Guided Federated Aggregation for Cold-Start

Chunxu Zhang, Guodong Long, Tianyi Zhou, Xiangyu Zhao, Zijian Zhang, Bo Yang

Federated recommendation system is a recently emerging architecture, which provides recommendation services without exposing users' private data. Existing methods are mainly designed to recommend items already existing in the system. In practical scenarios, the system continuously introduces new items and recommends them to users, i.e., cold-start recommendation. To recommend cold items, existing federated recommendation models require collecting new interactions from users and retraining the model, which is time-consuming and poses a privacy threat to users' sensitive information. This paper presents a novel Item-guided Federated aggregation for cold-start Recommendation (IFedRec) framework. The IFedRec exchanges the item embedding to learn the common item preference semantic and preserves other model parameters locally to capture user personalization. Besides, it deploys a meta attribute network on the server to learn the item feature semantic, and a semantic alignment mechanism is presented to align both kinds of item semantic. When the new items arrive, each client can make recommendations with item feature semantic learned from the meta attribute network by incorporating the locally personalized model without retraining. Experiments on four benchmark datasets demonstrate IFedRec's outstanding performance for cold-start recommendation. Besides, in-depth analysis verifies IFedRec's learning ability for cold items while protecting user's privacy.

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