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Balancing Unobserved Confounding with a Few Unbiased Ratings in Debiased Recommendations

EasyChair Preprint no. 13088

9 pagesDate: April 25, 2024


Recommender systems are seen as an effective tool to address information overload, but it is widely known that the presence of various biases makes direct training on large-scale observational data result in sub-optimal prediction performance. In contrast, unbiased ratings obtained from randomized controlled trials or A/B tests are considered to be the golden standard, but are costly and small in scale in reality. To exploit both types of data, recent works proposed to use unbiased ratings to correct the parameters of the propensity or imputation models trained on the biased dataset. However, the existing methods fail to obtain accurate predictions in the presence of unobserved confounding or model misspecification. In this paper, we propose a theoretically guaranteed model-agnostic balancing approach that can be applied to any existing debiasing method with the aim of combating unobserved confounding and model misspecification. The proposed approach makes full use of unbiased data by alternatively correcting model parameters learned with biased data, and adaptively learning balance coefficients of biased samples for further debiasing. Extensive real-world experiments are conducted along with the deployment of our proposal on four representative debiasing methods to demonstrate the effectiveness.

Keyphrases: bias, Debias, randomized controlled trials, Recommender System, Unobserved Confounding

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Haoxuan Li and Yanghao Xiao and Chunyuan Zheng and Peng Wu},
  title = {Balancing Unobserved Confounding with a Few Unbiased Ratings in Debiased Recommendations},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 13088},

  year = {EasyChair, 2024}}
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