Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track
Jin Chen, Defu Lian, Yucheng Li, Baoyun Wang, Kai Zheng, Enhong Chen
Recommender retrievers aim to rapidly retrieve a fraction of items from the entire item corpus when a user query requests, with the representative two-tower model trained with the log softmax loss. For efficiently training recommender retrievers on modern hardwares, inbatch sampling, where the items in the mini-batch are shared as negatives to estimate the softmax function, has attained growing interest. However, existing inbatch sampling based strategies just correct the sampling bias of inbatch items with item frequency, being unable to distinguish the user queries within the mini-batch and still incurring significant bias from the softmax. In this paper, we propose a Cache-Augmented Inbatch Importance Resampling (XIR) for training recommender retrievers, which not only offers different negatives to user queries with inbatch items, but also adaptively achieves a more accurate estimation of the softmax distribution. Specifically, XIR resamples items from the given mini-batch training pairs based on certain probabilities, where a cache with more frequently sampled items is adopted to augment the candidate item set, with the purpose of reusing the historical informative samples. XIR enables to sample query-dependent negatives based on inbatch items and to capture dynamic changes of model training, which leads to a better approximation of the softmax and further contributes to better convergence. Finally, we conduct experiments to validate the superior performance of the proposed XIR compared with competitive approaches.