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Modeling Complementary Products and Customer Preferences with Context Knowledge for Online Recommendation

by   Da Xu, et al.

Modeling item complementariness and user preferences from purchase data is essential for learning good representations of products and customers, which empowers the modern personalized recommender system for Walmart's e-commerce platform. The intrinsic complementary relationship among products captures the buy-also-buy patterns and provides great sources for recommendations. Product complementary patterns, though often reflected by population purchase behaviors, are not separable from customer-specific bias in purchase data. We propose a unified model with Bayesian network structure that takes account of both factors. In the meantime, we merge the contextual knowledge of both products and customers into their representations. We also use the dual product embeddings to capture the intrinsic properties of complementariness, such as asymmetry. The separating hyperplane theory sheds light on the geometric interpretation of using the additional embedding. We conduct extensive evaluations on our model before final production, and propose a novel ranking criterion based on product and customer embeddings. Our method compares favorably to existing approaches in various offline and online testings, and case studies demonstrate the advantage and usefulness of the dual product embeddings as well as the user embeddings.


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