Item recommendation by combining relative and absolute feedback data
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User preferences in the form of absolute feedback, s.a., ratings, are widely exploited in Recommender Systems (RSs). Recent research has explored the usage of preferences expressed with pairwise comparisons, which signal relative feedback. It has been shown that pairwise comparisons can be effectively combined with ratings, but, it is important to fine tune the technique that leverages both types of feedback. Previous approaches train a single model by converting ratings into pairwise comparisons, and then use only that type of data. However, we claim that these two types of preferences reveal different information about users interests and should be exploited differently. Hence, in this work, we develop a ranking technique that separately exploits absolute and relative preferences in a hybrid model. In particular, we propose a joint loss function which is computed on both absolute and relative preferences of users. Our proposed ranking model uses pairwise comparisons data to predict the user's preference order between pairs of items and uses ratings to push high rated (relevant) items to the top of the ranking. Experimental results on three different data sets demonstrate that the proposed technique outperforms competitive baseline algorithms on popular ranking-oriented evaluation metrics.
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