Recommendation Unlearning

by   Chong Chen, et al.

Recommender systems provide essential web services by learning users' personal preferences from collected data. However, in many cases, systems also need to forget some training data. From the perspective of privacy, several privacy regulations have recently been proposed, requiring systems to eliminate any impact of the data whose owner requests to forget. From the perspective of utility, if a system's utility is damaged by some bad data, the system needs to forget these data to regain utility. From the perspective of usability, users can delete noise and incorrect entries so that a system can provide more useful recommendations. While unlearning is very important, it has not been well-considered in existing recommender systems. Although there are some researches have studied the problem of machine unlearning in the domains of image and text data, existing methods can not been directly applied to recommendation as they are unable to consider the collaborative information. In this paper, we propose RecEraser, a general and efficient machine unlearning framework tailored to recommendation task. The main idea of RecEraser is to partition the training set into multiple shards and train a constituent model for each shard. Specifically, to keep the collaborative information of the data, we first design three novel data partition algorithms to divide training data into balanced groups based on their similarity. Then, considering that different shard models do not uniformly contribute to the final prediction, we further propose an adaptive aggregation method to improve the global model utility. Experimental results on three public benchmarks show that RecEraser can not only achieve efficient unlearning, but also outperform the state-of-the-art unlearning methods in terms of model utility. The source code can be found at


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