Automatic Meta-Path Discovery for Effective Graph-Based Recommendation

Wentao Ning, Reynold Cheng, Jiajun Shen, Nur Al Hasan Haldar, Ben Kao, Xiao Yan, Nan Huo, Wai Kit Lam, Tian Li, Bo Tang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)


Heterogeneous Information Networks (HINs) are labeled graphs that depict relationships among different types of entities (e.g., users, movies and directors). For HINs, meta-path-based recommenders (MPRs) utilize meta-paths (i.e., abstract paths consisting of node and link types) to predict user preference, and have attracted a lot of attention due to their explainability and performance. We observe that the performance of MPRs is highly sensitive to the meta-paths they use, but existing works manually select the meta-paths from many possible ones. Thus, to discover effective meta-paths automatically, we propose the Reinforcement learning-based Meta-path Selection (RMS) framework. Specifically, we define a vector encoding for meta-paths and design a policy network to extend meta-paths. The policy network is trained based on the results of downstream recommendation tasks and an early stopping approximation strategy is proposed to speed up training. RMS is a general model, and it can work with all existing MPRs. We also propose a new MPR called RMS-HRec, which uses an attention mechanism to aggregate information from the meta-paths. We conduct extensive experiments on real datasets. Compared with the manually selected meta-paths, the meta-paths identified by RMS consistently improve recommendation quality. Moreover, RMS-HRec outperforms state-of-the-art recommender systems by an average of 7% in hit ratio. The codes and datasets are available on
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIKM '22: Proceedings of the 31st ACM International Conference on Information & Knowledge Management
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-9236-5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2022
Event31st ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management , CIKM 2022: CIKM2022 -
Duration: 17 Oct 202221 Oct 2022

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Conference31st ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management , CIKM 2022
Internet address


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