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Leveraging online behaviors for interpretable knowledge-aware patent recommendation

Wei Du (School of Information, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Qiang Yan (Institute of Computing Technology Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)
Wenping Zhang (School of Information, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Jian Ma (Information Systems, College of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 11 June 2021

Issue publication date: 15 March 2022




Patent trade recommendations necessitate recommendation interpretability in addition to recommendation accuracy because of patent transaction risks and the technological complexity of patents. This study designs an interpretable knowledge-aware patent recommendation model (IKPRM) for patent trading. IKPRM first creates a patent knowledge graph (PKG) for patent trade recommendations and then leverages paths in the PKG to achieve recommendation interpretability.


First, we construct a PKG to integrate online company behaviors and patent information using natural language processing techniques. Second, a bidirectional long short-term memory network (BiLSTM) is utilized with an attention mechanism to establish the connecting paths of a company — patent pair in PKG. Finally, the prediction score of a company — patent pair is calculated by assigning different weights to their connecting paths. The semantic relationships in connecting paths help explain why a candidate patent is recommended.


Experiments on a real dataset from a patent trading platform verify that IKPRM significantly outperforms baseline methods in terms of hit ratio and normalized discounted cumulative gain (nDCG). The analysis of an online user study verified the interpretability of our recommendations.


A meta-path-based recommendation can achieve certain explainability but suffers from low flexibility when reasoning on heterogeneous information. To bridge this gap, we propose the IKPRM to explain the full paths in the knowledge graph. IKPRM demonstrates good performance and transparency and is a solid foundation for integrating interpretable artificial intelligence into complex tasks such as intelligent recommendations.



This work was supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 71901208, 71771212, U1711262, 71801217), Humanities and Social Sciences Foundation of the Ministry of Education (No. 18YJC630025), Key Projects of Philosophy and Social Sciences Research of Chinese Ministry of Education (No. 19JZD021), and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Development Center (No. 2019J01010).


Du, W., Yan, Q., Zhang, W. and Ma, J. (2022), "Leveraging online behaviors for interpretable knowledge-aware patent recommendation", Internet Research, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 568-587.



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