Exploring high-order user preference on the knowledge graph for recommender systems

Hongwei Wang, Fuzheng Zhang, Jialin Wang, Miao Zhao, Wenjie Li, Xing Xie, Minyi Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


To address the sparsity and cold-start problem of collaborative filtering, researchers usually make use of side information, such as social networks or item attributes, to improve the performance of recommendation. In this article, we consider the knowledge graph (KG) as the source of side information. To address the limitations of existing embedding-based and path-based methods for KG-aware recommendation, we propose RippleNet, an end-to-end framework that naturally incorporates the KG into recommender systems. RippleNet has two versions: (1) The outward propagation version, which is analogous to the actual ripples on water, stimulates the propagation of user preferences over the set of knowledge entities by automatically and iteratively extending a user's potential interests along links in the KG. The multiple “ripples” activated by a user's historically clicked items are thus superposed to form the preference distribution of the user with respect to a candidate item. (2) The inward aggregation version aggregates and incorporates the neighborhood information biasedly when computing the representation of a given entity. The neighborhood can be extended to multiple hops away to model high-order proximity and capture users' long-distance interests. In addition, we intuitively demonstrate how a KG assists with recommender systems in RippleNet, and we also find that RippleNet provides a new perspective of explainability for the recommended results in terms of the KG. Through extensive experiments on real-world datasets, we demonstrate that both versions of RippleNet achieve substantial gains in a variety of scenarios, including movie, book, and news recommendations, over several state-of-the-art baselines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera32
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Inward aggregation
  • Knowledge graph
  • Outward propagation
  • Recommender systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Computer Science Applications


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