FANS: Fast Non-Autoregressive Sequence Generation for Item List Continuation

by   Qijiong Liu, et al.

User-curated item lists, such as video-based playlists on Youtube and book-based lists on Goodreads, have become prevalent for content sharing on online platforms. Item list continuation is proposed to model the overall trend of a list and predict subsequent items. Recently, Transformer-based models have shown promise in comprehending contextual information and capturing item relationships in a list. However, deploying them in real-time industrial applications is challenging, mainly because the autoregressive generation mechanism used in them is time-consuming. In this paper, we propose a novel fast non-autoregressive sequence generation model, namely FANS, to enhance inference efficiency and quality for item list continuation. First, we use a non-autoregressive generation mechanism to decode next K items simultaneously instead of one by one in existing models. Then, we design a two-stage classifier to replace the vanilla classifier used in current transformer-based models to further reduce the decoding time. Moreover, to improve the quality of non-autoregressive generation, we employ a curriculum learning strategy to optimize training. Experimental results on four real-world item list continuation datasets including Zhihu, Spotify, AotM, and Goodreads show that our FANS model can significantly improve inference efficiency (up to 8.7x) while achieving competitive or better generation quality for item list continuation compared with the state-of-the-art autoregressive models. We also validate the efficiency of FANS in an industrial setting. Our source code and data will be available at MindSpore/models and Github.


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