Similarity-Based Explanations meet Matrix Factorization via Structure-Preserving Embeddings

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Leandro Balby Marinho, Júlio Barreto Guedes da Costa, Denis Parra, Rodrygo LT Santos


Embeddings are core components of modern model-based Collaborative Filtering (CF) methods, such as Matrix Factorization (MF) and Deep Learning variations. In essence, embeddings are mappings of the original sparse representation of categorical features (eg, user and items) to dense low-dimensional representations. A well-known limitation of such methods is that the learned embeddings are opaque and hard to explain to the users. On the other hand, a key feature of simpler KNN-based CF models (aka user/item-based CF) is that they naturally yield similarity-based explanations, ie, similar users/items as evidence to support model recommendations. Unlike related works that try to attribute explicit meaning (via metadata) to the learned embeddings, in this paper, we propose to equip the learned embeddings of MF with meaningful similarity-based explanations. First, we show that the learned user/item …

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