Improving Multi-Interest Network with Stable Learning


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Modeling users' dynamic preferences from historical behaviors lies at the core of modern recommender systems. Due to the diverse nature of user interests, recent advances propose the multi-interest networks to encode historical behaviors into multiple interest vectors. In real scenarios, the corresponding items of captured interests are usually retrieved together to get exposure and collected into training data, which produces dependencies among interests. Unfortunately, multi-interest networks may incorrectly concentrate on subtle dependencies among captured interests. Misled by these dependencies, the spurious correlations between irrelevant interests and targets are captured, resulting in the instability of prediction results when training and test distributions do not match. In this paper, we introduce the widely used Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC) to measure the degree of independence among captured interests and empirically show that the continuous increase of HSIC may harm model performance. Based on this, we propose a novel multi-interest network, named DEep Stable Multi-Interest Learning (DESMIL), which tries to eliminate the influence of subtle dependencies among captured interests via learning weights for training samples and make model concentrate more on underlying true causation. We conduct extensive experiments on public recommendation datasets, a large-scale industrial dataset and the synthetic datasets which simulate the out-of-distribution data. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed DESMIL outperforms state-of-the-art models by a significant margin. Besides, we also conduct comprehensive model analysis to reveal the reason why DESMIL works to a certain extent.
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