The explicitly observed social relations from online social platforms have been widely incorporated into recommender systems to mitigate the data sparsity issue. However, the direct usage of explicit social relations may lead to an inferior performance due to the unreliability (e.g., noises) of observed links. To this end, the discovery of reliable relations among users plays a central role in advancing social recommendation. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to adaptively identify implicit friends toward discovering more credible user relations. Particularly, implicit friends are those who share similar tastes but could be distant from each other on the network topology of social relations. Methodologically, to find the implicit friends for each user, we first model the whole system as a heterogeneous information network, and then capture the similarity of users through the meta-path based embedding representation learning. Finally, based on the intuition that social relations have varying degrees of impact on different users, our approach adaptively incorporates different numbers of similar users as implicit friends for each user to alleviate the adverse impact of unreliable social relations for a more effective recommendation. Experimental analysis on three real-world datasets demonstrates the superiority of our method and explain why implicit friends are helpful in improving social recommendation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCIKM 2018 - Proceedings of the 27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
EditorsNorman Paton, Selcuk Candan, Haixun Wang, James Allan, Rakesh Agrawal, Alexandros Labrinidis, Alfredo Cuzzocrea, Mohammed Zaki, Divesh Srivastava, Andrei Broder, Assaf Schuster
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450360142
StatePublished - Oct 17 2018
Event27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2018 - Torino, Italy
Duration: Oct 22 2018Oct 26 2018

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, Proceedings


Other27th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, CIKM 2018


  • Heterogeneous Networks
  • Implicit Friends
  • Social Networks
  • Social Recommender Systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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