Query understanding via Language Models based on transformers for e-commerce

Fedor Krasnov


Determining the user's intention by the text of the search query is one of the stages of extracting information in intelligent product search systems on an electronic trading platform. Considering search queries as a collection of short text documents, and user intentions as classes, the author continued to study approaches to the task of multi-class classification of short texts using models based on the architecture of transformers.  The approach to teaching a language model based on token sequences and further fine-tuning to the subject area has proven itself well recently. Inspired by this approach, the author considered the probability of a class label appearing as one of the tokens of a language model based on a transformer. This approach differs from a linear superposition of tokens using an activation function to determine the probability of a class in fine learning. One of the advantages of this approach is that classes acquire compact vector representations (embeddings). The author experimentally confirmed the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches on the text data of search queries. With optimal hyper-parameters, the accuracy of the proposed approach obtained by the f1-score weighted metric was 96%. Consideration of small data sets allowed us to assess the disadvantages characteristic of language models, which will only increase with scaling, to make sure once again that language models are a forced solution in the conditions of huge data sets, and not an alternative advantage.

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