Towards Hands-Free Visual Dialog Interactive Recommendation

  • Tong Yu Samsung Research America
  • Yilin Shen Samsung Research America
  • Hongxia Jin Samsung Research America


With the recent advances of multimodal interactive recommendations, the users are able to express their preference by natural language feedback to the item images, to find the desired items. However, the existing systems either retrieve only one item or require the user to specify (e.g., by click or touch) the commented items from a list of recommendations in each user interaction. As a result, the users are not hands-free and the recommendations may be impractical. We propose a hands-free visual dialog recommender system to interactively recommend a list of items. At each time, the system shows a list of items with visual appearance. The user can comment on the list in natural language, to describe the desired features they further want. With these multimodal data, the system chooses another list of items to recommend. To understand the user preference from these multimodal data, we develop neural network models which identify the described items among the list and further predict the desired attributes. To achieve efficient interactive recommendations, we leverage the inferred user preference and further develop a novel bandit algorithm. Specifically, to avoid the system exploring more than needed, the desired attributes are utilized to reduce the exploration space. More importantly, to achieve sample efficient learning in this hands-free setting, we derive additional samples from the user's relative preference expressed in natural language and design a pairwise logistic loss in bandit learning. Our bandit model is jointly updated by the pairwise logistic loss on the additional samples derived from natural language feedback and the traditional logistic loss. The empirical results show that the probability of finding the desired items by our system is about 3 times as high as that by the traditional interactive recommenders, after a few user interactions.

AAAI Technical Track: Applications