Standalone Neural Ranking Model (SNRM)
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Standalone Neural Ranking Model (SNRM)

/** Copyright (C) 2018 by Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval / University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The package of SNRM is distributed for research purpose, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. **/


SNRM [1] is the first learning to rank model that instead of "re-ranking" a few items (e.g., documents) is able to rank documents from a large collection of items. SNRM is a pairwise neural ranking model implemented for the ad-hoc retrieval task.

The main idea behind SNRM is to learn a high-dimensional sparse representation for each query or document in order to make inverted index construction possible. Then, an inverted index is constructed from the learned sparse representations, which is used for efficient retrieval. Therefore, SNRM does not need a first stage retrieval and can retrieve items (documents) from a large collection.

The original SNRM model [1] is trained using weak supervision [2]. The weak supervision signal was computed using the query likelihood retrieval model. Since the weak supervision data is huge (hundreds of gigabytes), we cannot share the data. If you want to use the code, you should implement your own 'generate_batch' method that returns a batch of pairwise training data (query. document1, document2, label). For inverted index construction, you should also implement your own 'generate_batch' method that simply returns a batch of document ID and their content.

If you find this model useful, you may want to cite the SNRM paper published at CIKM '18 [1].

[1] Hamed Zamani, Mostafa Dehghani, W. Bruce Croft, Erik Learned-Miller, and Jaap Kamps. "From Neural Re-Ranking to Neural Ranking: Learning a Sparse Representation for Inverted Indexing", In Proc. of CIKM 2018.

[2] Mostafa Dehghani, Hamed Zamani, Aliaksei Severyn, Jaap Kamps, and W. Bruce Croft. "Neural Ranking Models with Weak Supervision", In Proc. of SIGIR 2017.


This project was implemented by Hamed Zamani of the Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. If you have any comment or question, please do not hesitate to contact the author via