Moderator: Boqing Gong

Abstract:

Thu 22 July 20:30 - 20:35 PDT

(Spotlight)

Chao Chen · Haoyu Geng · Nianzu Yang · Junchi Yan · Daiyue Xue · Jianping Yu · Xiaokang Yang

User interests are usually dynamic in the real world, which poses both theoretical and practical challenges for learning accurate preferences from rich behavior data. Among existing user behavior modeling solutions, attention networks are widely adopted for its effectiveness and relative simplicity. Despite being extensively studied, existing attentions still suffer from two limitations: i) conventional attentions mainly take into account the spatial correlation between user behaviors, regardless the distance between those behaviors in the continuous time space; and ii) these attentions mostly provide a dense and undistinguished distribution over all past behaviors then attentively encode them into the output latent representations. This is however not suitable in practical scenarios where a user's future actions are relevant to a small subset of her/his historical behaviors. In this paper, we propose a novel attention network, named \textit{self-modulating attention}, that models the complex and non-linearly evolving dynamic user preferences. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on top-N sequential recommendation tasks, and the results on three large-scale real-world datasets show that our model can achieve state-of-the-art performance.

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Thu 22 July 20:35 - 20:40 PDT

(Spotlight)

Xingchen Ma · Matthew B Blaschko

In many applications, it is desirable that a classifier not only makes accurate predictions, but also outputs calibrated posterior probabilities. However, many existing classifiers, especially deep neural network classifiers, tend to be uncalibrated. Post-hoc calibration is a technique to recalibrate a model by learning a calibration map. Existing approaches mostly focus on constructing calibration maps with low calibration errors, however, this quality is inadequate for a calibrator being useful. In this paper, we introduce two constraints that are worth consideration in designing a calibration map for post-hoc calibration. Then we present Meta-Cal, which is built from a base calibrator and a ranking model. Under some mild assumptions, two high-probability bounds are given with respect to these constraints. Empirical results on CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and ImageNet and a range of popular network architectures show our proposed method significantly outperforms the current state of the art for post-hoc multi-class classification calibration.

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Thu 22 July 20:40 - 20:45 PDT

(Spotlight)

Qitian Wu · Hengrui Zhang · Xiaofeng Gao · Junchi Yan · Hongyuan Zha

Recommendation models can effectively estimate underlying user interests and predict one's future behaviors by factorizing an observed user-item rating matrix into products of two sets of latent factors. However, the user-specific embedding factors can only be learned in a transductive way, making it difficult to handle new users on-the-fly. In this paper, we propose an inductive collaborative filtering framework that contains two representation models. The first model follows conventional matrix factorization which factorizes a group of key users' rating matrix to obtain meta latents. The second model resorts to attention-based structure learning that estimates hidden relations from query to key users and learns to leverage meta latents to inductively compute embeddings for query users via neural message passing. Our model enables inductive representation learning for users and meanwhile guarantees equivalent representation capacity as matrix factorization. Experiments demonstrate that our model achieves promising results for recommendation on few-shot users with limited training ratings and new unseen users which are commonly encountered in open-world recommender systems.

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Thu 22 July 20:45 - 20:50 PDT

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Sloan Nietert · Ziv Goldfeld · Kengo Kato

Discrepancy measures between probability distributions, often termed statistical distances, are ubiquitous in probability theory, statistics and machine learning. To combat the curse of dimensionality when estimating these distances from data, recent work has proposed smoothing out local irregularities in the measured distributions via convolution with a Gaussian kernel. Motivated by the scalability of this framework to high dimensions, we investigate the structural and statistical behavior of the Gaussian-smoothed $p$-Wasserstein distance $\mathsf{W}_p^{(\sigma)}$, for arbitrary $p\geq 1$. After establishing basic metric and topological properties of $\mathsf{W}_p^{(\sigma)}$, we explore the asymptotic statistical properties of $\mathsf{W}_p^{(\sigma)}(\hat{\mu}_n,\mu)$, where $\hat{\mu}_n$ is the empirical distribution of $n$ independent observations from $\mu$. We prove that $\mathsf{W}_p^{(\sigma)}$ enjoys a parametric empirical convergence rate of $n^{-1/2}$, which contrasts the $n^{-1/d}$ rate for unsmoothed $\Wp$ when $d \geq 3$. Our proof relies on controlling $\mathsf{W}_p^{(\sigma)}$ by a $p$th-order smooth Sobolev distance $\mathsf{d}_p^{(\sigma)}$ and deriving the limit distribution of $\sqrt{n}\,\mathsf{d}_p^{(\sigma)}(\hat{\mu}_n,\mu)$ for all dimensions $d$. As applications, we provide asymptotic guarantees for two-sample testing and minimum distance estimation using $\mathsf{W}_p^{(\sigma)}$, with experiments for $p=2$ using a maximum mean discrepancy formulation~of~$\mathsf{d}_2^{(\sigma)}$.

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Thu 22 July 20:50 - 20:55 PDT

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Dara Bahri · Heinrich Jiang

Training modern neural networks is an inherently noisy process that can lead to high \emph{prediction churn}-- disagreements between re-trainings of the same model due to factors such as randomization in the parameter initialization and mini-batches-- even when the trained models all attain similar accuracies. Such prediction churn can be very undesirable in practice. In this paper, we present several baselines for reducing churn and show that training on soft labels obtained by adaptively smoothing each example's label based on the example's neighboring labels often outperforms the baselines on churn while improving accuracy on a variety of benchmark classification tasks and model architectures.

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