RANKING AND RECOMMENDATIONS

REINFORCEMENT LEARNING

Deep Exploration for Recommendation Systems

September 06, 2023

Abstract

Modern recommendation systems ought to benefit by probing for and learning from delayed feedback. Research has tended to focus on learning from a user’s response to a single recommendation. Such work, which leverages methods of supervised and bandit learning, forgoes learning from the user’s subsequent behavior. Where past work has aimed to learn from subsequent behavior, there has been a lack of effective methods for probing to elicit informative delayed feedback. Effective exploration through probing for delayed feedback becomes particularly challenging when rewards are sparse. To address this, we develop deep exploration methods for recommendation systems. In particular, we formulate recommendation as a sequential decision problem and demonstrate benefits of deep exploration over single-step exploration. Our experiments are carried out with high-fidelity industrial-grade simulators and establish large improvements over existing algorithms.

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AUTHORS

Written by

Bill Zhu

Benjamin Van Roy

Publisher

RecSys

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