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Contrastive Graph Structure Learning via Information Bottleneck for Recommendation
Chunyu Wei · Jian Liang · Di Liu · Fei Wang

Wed Nov 30 02:00 PM -- 04:00 PM (PST) @ Hall J #131

Graph convolution networks (GCNs) for recommendations have emerged as an important research topic due to their ability to exploit higher-order neighbors. Despite their success, most of them suffer from the popularity bias brought by a small number of active users and popular items. Also, a real-world user-item bipartite graph contains many noisy interactions, which may hamper the sensitive GCNs. Graph contrastive learning show promising performance for solving the above challenges in recommender systems. Most existing works typically perform graph augmentation to create multiple views of the original graph by randomly dropping edges/nodes or relying on predefined rules, and these augmented views always serve as an auxiliary task by maximizing their correspondence. However, we argue that the graph structures generated from these vanilla approaches may be suboptimal, and maximizing their correspondence will force the representation to capture information irrelevant for the recommendation task. Here, we propose a Contrastive Graph Structure Learning via Information Bottleneck (CGI) for recommendation, which adaptively learns whether to drop an edge or node to obtain optimized graph structures in an end-to-end manner. Moreover, we innovatively introduce the Information Bottleneck into the contrastive learning process to avoid capturing irrelevant information among different views and help enrich the final representation for recommendation. Extensive experiments on public datasets are provided to show that our model significantly outperforms strong baselines.

Author Information

Chunyu Wei (Alibaba Group)
Jian Liang (Alibaba Group)

Jian Liang received his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 2018. During 2018 and 2020 he was a senior researcher in the Wireless Security Products Department of the Cloud and Smart Industries Group at Tencent, Beijing. In 2020 he joined the AI for international Department, New Retail Intelligence Engine, Alibaba Group as a senior algorithm engineer. His paper received the Best Short Paper Award in 2016 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI).

Di Liu (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics)
Fei Wang (Cornell University)

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