Searching with LTR

Now that you have a model, what can you do with it? As you saw in Logging Feature Scores, the Elasticsearch LTR plugin comes with the sltr query. This query is also what you use to execute models:

POST tmdb/_search
{
    "query": {
        "sltr": {
                "params": {
                    "keywords": "rambo"
                },
                "model": "my_model",
            }
    }
}

Warning

you almost certainly don’t want to run sltr this way :)

Rescore top N with sltr

In reality you would never want to use the sltr query this way. Why? This model executes on every result in your index. These models are CPU intensive. You’ll quickly make your Elasticsearch cluster crawl with the query above.

More often, you’ll execute your model on the top N of a baseline relevance query. You can do this using Elasticsearch’s built in rescore functionality:

POST tmdb/_search
{
    "query": {
        "match": {
            "_all": "rambo"
        }
    },
    "rescore": {
        "window_size": 1000,
        "query": {
            "rescore_query": {
                "sltr": {
                    "params": {
                        "keywords": "rambo"
                    },
                    "model": "my_model",
                }
            }
        }
}

}

Here we execute a query that limits the result set to documents that match “rambo”. All the documents are scored based on Elasticsearch’s default similarity (BM25). On top of those already reasonably relevant results we apply our model over the top 1000.

Viola!

Scoring on a subset of features with sltr (added in 1.0.1-es6.2.4)

Sometimes you might want to execute your query on a subset of the features rather than use all the ones specified in the model. In this case the features not specified in active_features list will not be scored upon. They will be marked as missing. You only need to specify the params applicable to the active_features. If you request a feature name that is not a part of the feature set assigned to that model the query will throw an error.

POST tmdb/_search {

“query”: {
“match”: {
“_all”: “rambo”

}

}, “rescore”: {

“window_size”: 1000, “query”: {

“rescore_query”: {
“sltr”: {
“params”: {
“keywords”: “rambo”

}, “model”: “my_model”, “active_features”: [“title_query”]

}

}

}

}

}

Here we apply our model over the top 1000 results but only for the selected features which in this case is title_query

Models! Filters! Even more!

One advantage of having sltr as just another Elasticsearch query is you can mix/match it with business logic and other. We won’t dive into these examples here, but we want to invite you to think creatively about scenarios, such as

  • Filtering out results based on business rules, using Elasticsearch filters before applying the model
  • Chaining multiple rescores, perhaps with increasingly sophisticated models
  • Rescoring once for relevance (with sltr), and a second time for business concerns
  • Forcing “bad” but relevant content out of the rescore window by downboosting it in the baseline query