LT-OCF: Learnable-Time ODE-based Collaborative Filtering

by   Jeongwhan Choi, et al.

Collaborative filtering (CF) is a long-standing problem of recommender systems. Many novel methods have been proposed, ranging from classical matrix factorization to recent graph convolutional network-based approaches. After recent fierce debates, researchers started to focus on linear graph convolutional networks (GCNs) with a layer combination, which show state-of-the-art accuracy in many datasets. In this work, we extend them based on neural ordinary differential equations (NODEs), because the linear GCN concept can be interpreted as a differential equation, and present the method of Learnable-Time ODE-based Collaborative Filtering (LT-OCF). The main novelty in our method is that after redesigning linear GCNs on top of the NODE regime, i) we learn the optimal architecture rather than relying on manually designed ones, ii) we learn smooth ODE solutions that are considered suitable for CF, and iii) we test with various ODE solvers that internally build a diverse set of neural network connections. We also present a novel training method specialized to our method. In our experiments with three benchmark datasets, Gowalla, Yelp2018, and Amazon-Book, our method consistently shows better accuracy than existing methods, e.g., a recall of 0.0411 by LightGCN vs. 0.0442 by LT-OCF and an NDCG of 0.0315 by LightGCN vs. 0.0341 by LT-OCF in Amazon-Book. One more important discovery in our experiments that is worth mentioning is that our best accuracy was achieved by dense connections rather than linear connections.


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