View publication

Online commercial app marketplaces serve millions of apps to billions of users in an efficient manner. Bandit optimization algorithms are used to ensure that the recommendations are relevant, and converge to the best performing content over time. However, directly applying bandits to real-world systems, where the catalog of items is dynamic and continuously refreshed, is not straightforward. One of the challenges we face is the existence of several competing content surfacing components, a phenomenon not unusual in large-scale recommender systems. This often leads to challenging scenarios, where improving the recommendations in one component can lead to performance degradation of another, i.e., “cannibalization". To address this problem we introduce an efficient two-layer bandit approach which is contextualized to user cohorts of similar taste. We mitigate cannibalization at runtime within a single multi-intent content surfacing platform by formalizing relevant offline evaluation metrics, and by involving the cross-component interactions in the bandit rewards. The user engagement in our proposed system has more than doubled as measured by online A/B testings.

Related readings and updates.

Randomized Algorithms for Precise Measurement of Differentially-private, Personalized Recommendations

This paper was accepted at The 5th AAAI Workshop on Privacy-Preserving Artificial Intelligence. Personalized recommendations form an important part of today's internet ecosystem, helping artists and creators to reach interested users, and helping users to discover new and engaging content. However, many users today are skeptical of platforms that personalize recommendations, in part due to historically careless treatment of personal data and data…
See paper details

Identifying Controversial Pairs in Item-to-Item Recommendations

*= Equal Contributors Recommendation systems in large-scale online marketplaces are essential to aiding users in discovering new content. However, state-of-the-art systems for item-to-item recommendation tasks are often based on a shallow level of contextual relevance, which can make the system insufficient for tasks where item relationships are more nuanced. Contextually relevant item pairs can sometimes have problematic relationships that are…
See paper details