P-Companion: A principled framework for diversified complementary product recommendation
If one customer buys a tennis racket, what are the best 3 complementary products to purchase together? 3 tennis ball packs, 3 headbands, 3 overgrips, or 1 of each respectively? Complementary product recommendation (CPR), aiming at providing product suggestions that are often bought together to serve a joint demand, forms a pivotal component of e-commerce service; however, existing methods are far from optimal. Given one product, how to recommend its complementary products of different types is the key problem we tackle in this work. We first conduct an analysis to correct the inaccurate assumptions adopted by existing work to show that co-purchased products are not always complementary and further propose a new strategy to generate clean distant supervision labels for CPR modeling. Moreover, to bridge in the gap from existing work that CPR does not only need relevance modeling but also requires diversity to fulfill the whole purchase demand, we develop a deep learning framework, P-Companion, to explicitly model both relevance and diversity. More specifically, given one product with its product type, P-Companion first uses an encoder-decoder network to predict multiple complementary product types, and then a transfer metric learning network is developed to project the embedding of query product to each predicted complementary product type subspace and further learn the complementary relationship based on the distant supervision labels. The whole framework can be trained from end-to-end and is robust to cold-start products attributed to a novel pretrained product embedding module named Product2vec, based on graph attention networks. Extensive offline experiments show that P-Companion outperforms state-of-the-art baselines by a 7.1% increase on the Hit@10 score with well-controlled diversity. Production-wise, we deploy P-Companion to provide online recommendations for over 200 million products at Amazon and observe significant gains on product sales and profit.