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The Imitation Game: Algorithm Selection by Exploiting Black-Box Recommenders


Cross-validation is commonly used to select the recommendation algorithms that will generalize best on yet unknown data. Yet, in many situations the available dataset used for cross-validation is scarce and the selected algorithm might not be the best suited for the unknown data. In contrast, established companies have a large amount of data available to select and tune their recommender algorithms, which therefore should generalize better. These companies often make their recommender systems available as black-boxes, i.e., users query the recommender through an API or a browser. This paper proposes RECRANK, a technique that exploits a black-box recommender system, in addition to classic cross-validation. RECRANK employs graph similarity measures to compute a distance between the output recommendations of the black-box and of the considered algorithms. We empirically show that RECRANK provides a substantial improvement (33%) for the selection of algorithms for the MovieLens dataset, in comparison with standalone cross-validation.
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hal-03118263 , version 1 (22-01-2021)



Georgios Damaskinos, Rachid Guerraoui, Erwan Le Merrer, Christoph Neumann. The Imitation Game: Algorithm Selection by Exploiting Black-Box Recommenders. NETYS 2020 - 8th International Conference on Networked Systems, Jun 2020, Marrakech / Virtual, Morocco. pp.1-13, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-67087-0_11⟩. ⟨hal-03118263⟩
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