How Can Recommender Systems Benefit from Large Language Models: A Survey

by   Jianghao Lin, et al.

Recommender systems (RS) play important roles to match users' information needs for Internet applications. In natural language processing (NLP) domains, large language model (LLM) has shown astonishing emergent abilities (e.g., instruction following, reasoning), thus giving rise to the promising research direction of adapting LLM to RS for performance enhancements and user experience improvements. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive survey on this research direction from an application-oriented view. We first summarize existing research works from two orthogonal perspectives: where and how to adapt LLM to RS. For the "WHERE" question, we discuss the roles that LLM could play in different stages of the recommendation pipeline, i.e., feature engineering, feature encoder, scoring/ranking function, and pipeline controller. For the "HOW" question, we investigate the training and inference strategies, resulting in two fine-grained taxonomy criteria, i.e., whether to tune LLMs or not, and whether to involve conventional recommendation model (CRM) for inference. Detailed analysis and general development trajectories are provided for both questions, respectively. Then, we highlight key challenges in adapting LLM to RS from three aspects, i.e., efficiency, effectiveness, and ethics. Finally, we summarize the survey and discuss the future prospects. We also actively maintain a GitHub repository for papers and other related resources in this rising direction:


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