Learning Diverse Rankings with Multi-Armed Bandits

author: Robert Kleinberg, Department of Computer Science, Cornell University
published: Aug. 6, 2008,   recorded: July 2008,   views: 4872


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Algorithms for learning to rank Web documents usually assume a document's relevance is independent of other documents. This leads to learned ranking functions that produce rankings with redundant results. In contrast, user studies have shown that diversity at high ranks is often preferred. We present two new learning algorithms that directly learn a diverse ranking of documents based on users' clicking behavior. We show that these algorithms minimize abandonment, or alternatively, maximize the probability that a relevant document is found in the top k positions of a ranking. We show that one of our algorithms asymptotically achieves the best possible payoff obtainable in polynomial time even as user's interests change. The other performs better empirically when user interests are static, and is still theoretically near-optimal in that case.

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