- Keywords: Disentangling, Recommender Systems, VAE, Critiquing, Explainability
- Abstract: The core principle behind most collaborative filtering methods is to embed users and items in latent spaces, where individual dimensions are learned independently of any particular item attributes. It is thus difficult for users to control their recommendations based on particular aspects (critiquing). In this work, we propose Untangle: a recommendation model that gives users control over the recommendation list with respect to specific item attributes, (e.g.:less violent, funnier movies) that have a causal relationship in user preferences. Untangle uses a refined training procedure by training (i) a (partially) supervised β-VAE that disentangles the item representations and (ii) a second phase which optimized to generate recommendations for users. Untangle gives control on critiquing recommendations based on users preferences, without sacrificing on recommendation accuracy. Moreover only a tiny fraction of labeled items is needed to create disentangled preference representations over attributes.
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