J3R: Joint Multi-task Learning
of Ratings and Review Summaries
for Explainable Recommendation
Abstract. We learn user preferences from ratings and reviews by using multi-task learning (MTL) of rating prediction and summarization of item reviews. Reviews of an item tend to describe detailed user preferences (e.g., the cast, genre, or screenplay of a movie). A summary of such a review or a rating describes an overall user experience of the item.Our objective is to learn latent vectors which are shared across rating prediction and review summary generation.Additionally, the learned latent vectors and the generated summary act as explanations for the recommendation.Our MTL-based approach J3R uses a multi-layer perceptron for rating prediction, combined with pointer-generator networks with attention mechanism for the summarization component.We provide empirical evidence for joint learning of rating prediction and summary generation being beneficial for recommendation by conductingexperiments on the Yelp dataset and six domains of the Amazon 5-core dataset. Additionally, we provide two ways of explanations visualizing (a) the user vectors on different topics of a domain, computed from our J3R approach and (b) a ten-word review summary of a review and the attention highlights generated on the review based on the user-item vectors.