Accuracy-diversity trade-off in recommender systems via graph convolutions

Elvin Isufi, Matteo Pocchiari, Alan Hanjalic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
215 Downloads (Pure)


Graph convolutions, in both their linear and neural network forms, have reached state-of-the-art accuracy on recommender system (RecSys) benchmarks. However, recommendation accuracy is tied with diversity in a delicate trade-off and the potential of graph convolutions to improve the latter is unexplored. Here, we develop a model that learns joint convolutional representations from a nearest neighbor and a furthest neighbor graph to establish a novel accuracy-diversity trade-off for recommender systems. The nearest neighbor graph connects entities (users or items) based on their similarities and is responsible for improving accuracy, while the furthest neighbor graph connects entities based on their dissimilarities and is responsible for diversifying recommendations. The information between the two convolutional modules is balanced already in the training phase through a regularizer inspired by multi-kernel learning. We evaluate the joint convolutional model on three benchmark datasets with different degrees of sparsity. The proposed method can either trade accuracy to improve substantially the catalog coverage or the diversity within the list; or improve both by a lesser amount. Compared with accuracy-oriented graph convolutional approaches, the proposed model shows diversity gains up to seven times by trading as little as 1% in accuracy. Compared with alternative accuracy-diversity trade-off solutions, the joint graph convolutional model retains the highest accuracy while offering a handle to increase diversity. To our knowledge, this is the first work proposing an accuracy-diversity trade-off with graph convolutions and opens the doors to learning over graphs approaches for improving such trade-off.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102459
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Accuracy-diversity
  • Collaborative filtering
  • Graph convolutional neural networks
  • Graph filters
  • Graph signal processing


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