Sequential User-based Recurrent Neural Network Recommendations

Donkers, T., Loepp, B., & Ziegler, J. (2017). Proceedings of the 11th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys ’17), 152–160.

Thesis by Tim Donkers


Recurrent Neural Networks are powerful tools for modeling sequences. They are flexibly extensible and can incorporate various kinds of information including temporal order. These properties make them well suited for generating sequential recommendations. In this paper, we extend Recurrent Neural Networks by considering unique characteristics of the Recommender Systems domain. One of these characteristics is the explicit notion of the user recommendations are specifically generated for. We show how individual users can be represented in addition to sequences of consumed items in a new type of Gated Recurrent Unit to effectively produce personalized next item recommendations. Offline experiments on two real-world datasets indicate that our extensions clearly improve objective performance when compared to state-of-the-art recommender algorithms and to a conventional Recurrent Neural Network.


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