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Mixture-of-tastes Models for Representing Users with Diverse Interests

Most existing recommendation approaches implicitly treat user tastes as unimodal, resulting in an average-of-tastes representations when multiple distinct interests are present. We show that appropriately modelling the multi-faceted nature of user tastes through a mixture-of-tastes model leads to large increases in recommendation quality. Our result holds both for deep sequence-based and traditional factorization models, and is robust to careful selection and tuning of baseline models. In sequence-based models, this improvement is achieved at a very modest cost in model complexity, making mixture-of-tastes models a straightforward improvement on existing baselines.

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