Efficient neural matrix factorization without sampling for recommendation

Chong Chen, Min Zhang, Yongfeng Zhang, Yiqun Liu, Shaoping Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recommendation systems play a vital role to keep users engaged with personalized contents in modern online platforms. Recently, deep learning has revolutionized many research fields and there is a surge of interest in applying it for recommendation. However, existing studies have largely focused on exploring complex deeplearning architectures for recommendation task, while typically applying the negative sampling strategy for model learning. Despite effectiveness, we argue that these methods suffer from two important limitations: (1) the methods with complex network structures have a substantial number of parameters, and require expensive computations even with a sampling-based learning strategy; (2) the negative sampling strategy is not robust,making sampling-based methods difficult to achieve the optimal performance in practical applications. In this work, we propose to learn neural recommendation models from the whole training data without sampling. However, such a non-sampling strategy poses strong challenges to learning efficiency. To address this, we derive three new optimization methods through rigorous mathematical reasoning, which can efficiently learn model parameters from the whole data (including all missing data) with a rather low time complexity. Moreover, based on a simple Neural Matrix Factorization architecture, we present a general framework named ENMF, short for Efficient Neural Matrix Factorization. Extensive experiments on three real-world public datasets indicate that the proposed ENMF framework consistently and significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art methods on the Top-K recommendation task. Remarkably, ENMF also shows significant advantages in training efficiency, which makes it more applicable to real-world large-scale systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA14
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Efficient learning
  • Implicit feedback
  • Matrix factorization
  • Neural networks
  • Recommendation system

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