Meta-Learned Per-Instance Algorithm Selection in Scholarly Recommender Systems

by   Andrew Collins, et al.

The effectiveness of recommender system algorithms varies in different real-world scenarios. It is difficult to choose a best algorithm for a scenario due to the quantity of algorithms available, and because of their varying performances. Furthermore, it is not possible to choose one single algorithm that will work optimally for all recommendation requests. We apply meta-learning to this problem of algorithm selection for scholarly article recommendation. We train a random forest, gradient boosting machine, and generalized linear model, to predict a best-algorithm from a pool of content similarity-based algorithms. We evaluate our approach on an offline dataset for scholarly article recommendation and attempt to predict the best algorithm per-instance. The best meta-learning model achieved an average increase in F1 of 88 0.0376) and was significantly able to correctly select each base-algorithm (Paired t-test; p < 0.1). The meta-learner had a 3 the single-best base-algorithm (F1; 0.0739 vs 0.0717). We further perform an online evaluation of our approach, conducting an A/B test through our recommender-as-a-service platform Mr. DLib. We deliver 148K recommendations to users between January and March 2019. User engagement was significantly increased for recommendations generated using our meta-learning approach when compared to a random selection of algorithm (Click-through rate (CTR); 0.51 vs. 0.44 higher CTR than the best algorithm alone (CTR; MoreLikeThis (Title): 0.58



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