Robust Contextual Models for In-Session Personalization (ACM Trivago RecSys Challenge 2021 2nd place Solution) Paper
Abstract: Most online activity happens in the context of a session; to enable better user experience many online platforms aim to dynamically refine their recommendations as sessions progress. A popular approach is to continuously re-rank recommendations based on current session activity and past session logs. This motivates the 2019 ACM RecSys Challenge organised by Trivago. Using the session log dataset released by Trivago, the challenge aims to benchmark models for in-session re-ranking of hotel recommendations. In this paper we present our approach to this challenge where we first contextualize sessions in a global and local manner, and then train gradient boosting and deep learning models for re-ranking. Our team achieved 2nd place out of over 570 teams, with less than 0.3% relative difference in Mean Reciprocal Rank from the 1st place team.