iSplit LBI: Individualized Partial Ranking with Ties via Split LBI

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Qianqian Xu, Xinwei Sun, Zhiyong Yang, Xiaochun Cao, Qingming Huang, Yuan Yao


Due to the inherent uncertainty of data, the problem of predicting partial ranking from pairwise comparison data with ties has attracted increasing interest in recent years. However, in real-world scenarios, different individuals often hold distinct preferences, thus might be misleading to merely look at a global partial ranking while ignoring personal diversity. In this paper, instead of learning a global ranking which is agreed with the consensus, we pursue the tie-aware partial ranking from an individualized perspective. Particularly, we formulate a unified framework which not only can be used for individualized partial ranking prediction, but can also be helpful for abnormal users selection. This is realized by a variable splitting-based algorithm called iSplit LBI. Specifically, our algorithm generates a sequence of estimations with a regularization path, where both the hyperparameters and model parameters are updated. At each step of the path, the parameters can be decomposed into three orthogonal parts, namely, abnormal signals, personalized signals and random noise. The abnormal signals can serve the purpose of abnormal user selection, while the abnormal signals and personalized signals together are mainly responsible for user partial ranking prediction. Extensive experiments on simulated and real-world datasets demonstrate that our new approach significantly outperforms state-of-the-art alternatives.