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SessNet: A Hybrid Session-Based Recommender System

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posted on 07.12.2021, 16:41 by Omar Nada
Session-based recommendation is the task of predicting user actions during short online sessions. Previous work considers the user to be anonymous in this setting, with no past behavior history available. In reality, this is often not the case, and none of the existing approaches are flexible enough to seamlessly integrate user history when available. In this thesis, we propose a novel hybrid session-based recommender system to perform next-click prediction, which is able to take advantage of historical user preferences when accessible. Specifically, we propose SessNet, a deep profiling session-based recommender system, with a two-stage dichotomy. First, we use bidirectional transformers to model local and global session intent. Second, we concatenate any user information with the current session representation to feed to a feed-forward neural network to identify the next click. Historical user preferences are computed using the sequence-aware embeddings obtained from the first step, allowing us to better understand the users. We evaluate the efficacy of the proposed method using two benchmark datasets, YooChoose1/64 and Dignetica. Our experimental results show that SessNet outperforms state-of-the-art session-based recommenders on P@20 for both datasets.





Master of Science


Computer Science

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Cherie Ding