A New Probabilistic Model for Rank Aggregation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Tao Qin, Xiubo Geng, Tie-yan Liu


This paper is concerned with rank aggregation, which aims to combine multiple input rankings to get a better ranking. A popular approach to rank aggregation is based on probabilistic models on permutations, e.g., the Luce model and the Mallows model. However, these models have their limitations in either poor expressiveness or high computational complexity. To avoid these limitations, in this paper, we propose a new model, which is defined with a coset-permutation distance, and models the generation of a permutation as a stagewise process. We refer to the new model as coset-permutation distance based stagewise (CPS) model. The CPS model has rich expressiveness and can therefore be used in versatile applications, because many different permutation distances can be used to induce the coset-permutation distance. The complexity of the CPS model is low because of the stagewise decomposition of the permutation probability and the efficient computation of most coset-permutation distances. We apply the CPS model to supervised rank aggregation, derive the learning and inference algorithms, and empirically study their effectiveness and efficiency. Experiments on public datasets show that the derived algorithms based on the CPS model can achieve state-of-the-art ranking accuracy, and are much more efficient than previous algorithms.