Multi-Level Deep Cascade Trees for Conversion Rate Prediction in Recommendation System

  • Hong Wen Alibaba
  • Jing Zhang University of Technology Sydney
  • Quan Lin Alibaba
  • Keping Yang Alibaba
  • Pipei Huang Alibaba

Abstract

Developing effective and efficient recommendation methods is very challenging for modern e-commerce platforms. Generally speaking, two essential modules named “ClickThrough Rate Prediction” (CTR) and “Conversion Rate Prediction” (CVR) are included, where CVR module is a crucial factor that affects the final purchasing volume directly. However, it is indeed very challenging due to its sparseness nature. In this paper, we tackle this problem by proposing multiLevel Deep Cascade Trees (ldcTree), which is a novel decision tree ensemble approach. It leverages deep cascade structures by stacking Gradient Boosting Decision Trees (GBDT) to effectively learn feature representation. In addition, we propose to utilize the cross-entropy in each tree of the preceding GBDT as the input feature representation for next level GBDT, which has a clear explanation, i.e., a traversal from root to leaf nodes in the next level GBDT corresponds to the combination of certain traversals in the preceding GBDT. The deep cascade structure and the combination rule enable the proposed ldcTree to have a stronger distributed feature representation ability. Moreover, inspired by ensemble learning, we propose an Ensemble ldcTree (E-ldcTree) to encourage the model’s diversity and enhance the representation ability further. Finally, we propose an improved Feature learning method based on EldcTree (F-EldcTree) for taking adequate use of weak and strong correlation features identified by pretrained GBDT models. Experimental results on off-line data set and online deployment demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods.

Published
2019-07-17
Section
AAAI Technical Track: AI and the Web