Pretrained Language Model based Web Search Ranking: From Relevance to Satisfaction


Search engine plays a crucial role in satisfying users’ diverse information needs. Recently, Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) based text ranking models have achieved huge success in web search. However, many state-of-the-art text ranking approaches only focus on core relevance while ignoring other dimensions that contribute to user satisfaction, e.g., document quality, recency, authority, etc. In this work, we focus on ranking user satisfaction rather than relevance in web search, and propose a PLM-based framework, namely SAT-Ranker, which comprehensively models different dimensions of user satisfaction in a unified manner. In particular, we leverage the capacities of PLMs on both textual and numerical inputs, and apply a multi-field input that modularizes each dimension of user satisfaction as an input field. Overall, SAT-Ranker is an effective, extensible, and data-centric framework that has huge potential for industrial applications. On rigorous offline and online experiments, SAT-Ranker obtains remarkable gains on various evaluation sets targeting different dimensions of user satisfaction. It is now fully deployed online to improve the usability of our search engine.

arXiv preprint arXiv:2306.01599