Utilizing Embeddings for Ad-hoc Retrieval by Document-to-document Similarity

Chenhao Yang, Ben He, Yanhua Ran

Latent semantic representations of words or paragraphs, namely the embeddings, have been widely applied to information retrieval (IR). One of the common approaches of utilizing embeddings for IR is to estimate the document-to-query (D2Q) similarity in their embeddings. As words with similar syntactic usage are usually very close to each other in the embeddings space, although they are not semantically similar, the D2Q similarity approach may suffer from the problem of "multiple degrees of similarity". To this end, this paper proposes a novel approach that estimates a semantic relevance score (SEM) based on document-to-document (D2D) similarity of embeddings. As Word or Para2Vec generates embeddings by the context of words/paragraphs, the D2D similarity approach turns the task of document ranking into the estimation of similarity between content within different documents. Experimental results on standard TREC test collections show that our proposed approach outperforms strong baselines.

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