Modeling Relevance Ranking under the Pre-training and Fine-tuning Paradigm [article]

Lin Bo, Liang Pang, Gang Wang, Jun Xu, XiuQiang He, Ji-Rong Wen
2021 arXiv   pre-print
Recently, pre-trained language models such as BERT have been applied to document ranking for information retrieval, which first pre-train a general language model on an unlabeled large corpus and then conduct ranking-specific fine-tuning on expert-labeled relevance datasets. Ideally, an IR system would model relevance from a user-system dualism: the user's view and the system's view. User's view judges the relevance based on the activities of "real users" while the system's view focuses on the
more » ... elevance signals from the system side, e.g., from the experts or algorithms, etc. Inspired by the user-system relevance views and the success of pre-trained language models, in this paper we propose a novel ranking framework called Pre-Rank that takes both user's view and system's view into consideration, under the pre-training and fine-tuning paradigm. Specifically, to model the user's view of relevance, Pre-Rank pre-trains the initial query-document representations based on large-scale user activities data such as the click log. To model the system's view of relevance, Pre-Rank further fine-tunes the model on expert-labeled relevance data. More importantly, the pre-trained representations, are fine-tuned together with handcrafted learning-to-rank features under a wide and deep network architecture. In this way, Pre-Rank can model the relevance by incorporating the relevant knowledge and signals from both real search users and the IR experts. To verify the effectiveness of Pre-Rank, we showed two implementations by using BERT and SetRank as the underlying ranking model, respectively. Experimental results base on three publicly available benchmarks showed that in both of the implementations, Pre-Rank can respectively outperform the underlying ranking models and achieved state-of-the-art performances.
arXiv:2108.05652v1 fatcat:hiafpiym2jeqtdsanl52zfnrq4