FedCT: Federated Collaborative Transfer for Recommendation

Shuchang Liu, Shuyuan Xu, Wenhui Yu, Zuohui Fu, Yongfeng Zhang, Amelie Marian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

When a user starts exploring items from a new area of an e-commerce system, cross-domain recommendation techniques come into help by transferring the abundant knowledge from the user's familiar domains to this new domain. However, this solution usually requires direct information sharing between service providers on the cloud which may not always be available and brings privacy concerns. In this paper, we show that one can overcome these concerns through learning on edge devices such as smartphones and laptops. The cross-domain recommendation problem is formalized under a decentralized computing environment with multiple domain servers. And we identify two key challenges for this setting: the unavailability of direct transfer and the heterogeneity of the domain-specific user representations. We then propose to learn and maintain a decentralized user encoding on each user's personal space. The optimization follows a variational inference framework that maximizes the mutual information between the user's encoding and the domain-specific user information from all her interacted domains. Empirical studies on real-world datasets exhibit the effectiveness of our proposed framework on recommendation tasks and its superiority over domain-pairwise transfer models. The resulting system offers reduced communication cost and an efficient inference mechanism that does not depend on the number of involved domains, and it allows flexible plugin of domain-specific transfer models without significant interference on other domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGIR 2021 - Proceedings of the 44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages716-725
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380379
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 11 2021
Event44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, SIGIR 2021 - Virtual, Online, Canada
Duration: Jul 11 2021Jul 15 2021

Publication series

NameSIGIR 2021 - Proceedings of the 44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval

Conference

Conference44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, SIGIR 2021
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVirtual, Online
Period7/11/217/15/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Information Systems

Keywords

  • federated learning
  • recommendation system
  • transfer learning
  • user representation

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