DOI: 10.3390/electronics12244939 ISSN: 2079-9292

An Actor-Critic Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning Model for Course Recommendation

Kun Liang, Guoqiang Zhang, Jinhui Guo, Wentao Li
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Signal Processing
  • Control and Systems Engineering

Online learning platforms provide diverse course resources, but this often results in the issue of information overload. Learners always want to learn courses that are appropriate for their knowledge level and preferences quickly and accurately. Effective course recommendation plays a key role in helping learners select appropriate courses and improving the efficiency of online learning. However, when a user is enrolled in multiple courses, existing course recommendation methods face the challenge of accurately recommending the target course that is most relevant to the user because of the noise courses. In this paper, we propose a novel reinforcement learning model named Actor-Critic Hierarchical Reinforcement Learning (ACHRL). The model incorporates the actor-critic method to construct the profile reviser. This can remove noise courses and make personalized course recommendations effectively. Furthermore, we propose a policy gradient based on the temporal difference error to reduce the variance in the training process, to speed up the convergence of the model, and to improve the accuracy of the recommendation. We evaluate the proposed model using two real datasets, and the experimental results show that the proposed model significantly outperforms the existing recommendation models (improving 3.77% to 13.66% in terms of HR@5).

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