Reinforcing User Retention in a Billion Scale Short Video Recommender System
Recently, short video platforms have achieved rapid user growth by recommending interesting content to users. The objective of the recommendation is to optimize user retention, thereby driving the growth of DAU (Daily Active Users). Retention is a long-term feedback after multiple interactions of users and the system, and it is hard to decompose retention reward to each item or a list of items. Thus traditional point-wise and list-wise models are not able to optimize retention. In this paper, we choose reinforcement learning methods to optimize the retention as they are designed to maximize the long-term performance. We formulate the problem as an infinite-horizon request-based Markov Decision Process, and our objective is to minimize the accumulated time interval of multiple sessions, which is equal to improving the app open frequency and user retention. However, current reinforcement learning algorithms can not be directly applied in this setting due to uncertainty, bias, and long delay time incurred by the properties of user retention. We propose a novel method, dubbed RLUR, to address the aforementioned challenges. Both offline and live experiments show that RLUR can significantly improve user retention. RLUR has been fully launched in Kuaishou app for a long time, and achieves consistent performance improvement on user retention and DAU.
- Pub Date:
- February 2023
- Computer Science - Machine Learning;
- Computer Science - Information Retrieval
- The Web Conference 2023 Industry Track