Meta-Learning with Adaptive Weighted Loss for Imbalanced Cold-Start Recommendation

by   Minchang Kim, et al.

Sequential recommenders have made great strides in capturing a user's preferences. Nevertheless, the cold-start recommendation remains a fundamental challenge in which only a few user-item interactions are available for personalization. Gradient-based meta-learning approaches have recently emerged in the sequential recommendation field due to their fast adaptation and easy-to-integrate abilities. The meta-learning algorithms formulate the cold-start recommendation as a few-shot learning problem, where each user is represented as a task to be adapted. However, while meta-learning algorithms generally assume that task-wise samples are evenly distributed over classes or values, user-item interactions are not that way in real-world applications (e.g., watching favorite videos multiple times, leaving only good ratings and no bad ones). As a result, in the real-world, imbalanced user feedback that accounts for most task training data may dominate the user adaptation and prevent meta-learning algorithms from learning meaningful meta-knowledge for personalized recommendations. To alleviate this limitation, we propose a novel sequential recommendation framework based on gradient-based meta-learning that captures the imbalance of each user's rating distribution and accordingly computes adaptive loss for user-specific learning. It is the first work to tackle the impact of imbalanced ratings in cold-start sequential recommendation scenarios. We design adaptive weighted loss and improve the existing meta-learning algorithms for state-of-the-art sequential recommendation methods. Extensive experiments conducted on real-world datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework.


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