PIER: Permutation-Level Interest-Based End-to-End Re-ranking Framework in E-commerce

Re-ranking draws increased attention on both academics and industries, which rearranges the ranking list by modeling the mutual influence among items to better meet users' demands. Many existing re-ranking methods directly take the initial ranking list as input, and generate the optimal permutation through a well-designed context-wise model, which brings the evaluation-before-reranking problem. Meanwhile, evaluating all candidate permutations brings unacceptable computational costs in practice. Thus, to better balance efficiency and effectiveness, online systems usually use a two-stage architecture which uses some heuristic methods such as beam-search to generate a suitable amount of candidate permutations firstly, which are then fed into the evaluation model to get the optimal permutation. However, existing methods in both stages can be improved through the following aspects. As for generation stage, heuristic methods only use point-wise prediction scores and lack an effective judgment. As for evaluation stage, most existing context-wise evaluation models only consider the item context and lack more fine-grained feature context modeling. This paper presents a novel end-to-end re-ranking framework named PIER to tackle the above challenges which still follows the two-stage architecture and contains two mainly modules named FPSM and OCPM. We apply SimHash in FPSM to select top-K candidates from the full permutation based on user's permutation-level interest in an efficient way. Then we design a novel omnidirectional attention mechanism in OCPM to capture the context information in the permutation. Finally, we jointly train these two modules end-to-end by introducing a comparative learning loss. Offline experiment results demonstrate that PIER outperforms baseline models on both public and industrial datasets, and we have successfully deployed PIER on Meituan food delivery platform.

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