Title: FOSSIL: Fusing Similarity Models with Markov Chains for Sparse Sequential Recommendation.

Authors: Ruining He

Abstract: Abstract—Predicting personalized sequential behavior is a key task for recommender systems. In order to predict user actions such as the next product to purchase, movie to watch, or place to visit, it is essential to take into account both long- term user preferences and sequential patterns (i.e., short-term dynamics). Matrix Factorization and Markov Chain methods have emerged as two separate but powerful paradigms for modeling the two respectively. Combining these ideas has led to unified methods that accommodate long- and short-term dynamics simultaneously by modeling pairwise user-item and item-item interactions. In spite of the success of such methods for tackling dense data, they are challenged by sparsity issues, which are prevalent in real-world datasets. In recent years, similarity-based methods have been proposed for (sequentially-unaware) item recommendation with promising results on sparse datasets. In this paper, we propose to fuse such methods with Markov Chains to make personalized sequential recommendations. We evaluate our method, Fossil, on a variety of large, real-world datasets. We show quantitatively that Fossil outperforms alternative algorithms, especially on sparse datasets, and qualitatively that it captures personalized dynamics and is able to make meaningful recommendations.


Running with RecBole

Model Hyper-Parameters:

  • embedding_size (int) : The embedding size of users and items. Defaults to 64.

  • order_len (int) : The last N items . Defaults to 3.

  • reg_weight (float) : The L2 regularization weight. Defaults to 0.00.

  • alpha (float) : The parameter of alpha in calculate the similarity. Defaults to 0.6.

  • loss_type (str) : The type of loss function. If it set to 'CE', the training task is regarded as a multi-classification task and the target item is the ground truth. In this way, negative sampling is not needed. If it set to 'BPR', the training task will be optimized in the pair-wise way, which maximize the difference between positive item and negative item. In this way, negative sampling is necessary, such as setting training_neg_sample_num = 1. Defaults to 'CE'. Range in ['BPR', 'CE'].

A Running Example:

Write the following code to a python file, such as

from recbole.quick_start import run_recbole

run_recbole(model='FOSSIL', dataset='ml-100k')

And then:



  • By setting reproducibility=False, the training speed of FOSSIL can be greatly accelerated.

Tuning Hyper Parameters

If you want to use HyperTuning to tune hyper parameters of this model, you can copy the following settings and name it as hyper.test.

learning_rate choice [0.01,0.001]
embedding_size choice [64]
reg_weight choice [0,0.0001]
order_len choice [1,2,3,5]
alpha choice [0.2,0.5,0.6]

Note that we just provide these hyper parameter ranges for reference only, and we can not guarantee that they are the optimal range of this model.

Then, with the source code of RecBole (you can download it from GitHub), you can run the to tuning:

python --model=[model_name] --dataset=[dataset_name] --config_files=[config_files_path] --params_file=hyper.test

For more details about Parameter Tuning, refer to Parameter Tuning.

If you want to change parameters, dataset or evaluation settings, take a look at