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Adv Neural Inf Process Syst. 2018 Dec;31:6669-6678.

Modeling Dynamic Missingness of Implicit Feedback for Recommendation.

Author information

College of Computer Science, Zhejiang University,
Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh,
College of Computer Science, Zhejiang University,
Department of Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University,


Implicit feedback is widely used in collaborative filtering methods for recommendation. It is well known that implicit feedback contains a large number of values that are missing not at random (MNAR); and the missing data is a mixture of negative and unknown feedback, making it difficult to learn users' negative preferences. Recent studies modeled exposure, a latent missingness variable which indicates whether an item is exposed to a user, to give each missing entry a confidence of being negative feedback. However, these studies use static models and ignore the information in temporal dependencies among items, which seems to be an essential underlying factor to subsequent missingness. To model and exploit the dynamics of missingness, we propose a latent variable named "user intent" to govern the temporal changes of item missingness, and a hidden Markov model to represent such a process. The resulting framework captures the dynamic item missingness and incorporate it into matrix factorization (MF) for recommendation. We also explore two types of constraints to achieve a more compact and interpretable representation of user intents. Experiments on real-world datasets demonstrate the superiority of our method against state-of-the-art recommender systems.


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