Accepted Papers

PinText: A Multitask Text Embedding System in Pinterest

Jinfeng Zhuang and Yu Liu


Text embedding is a fundamental component for extracting text features in production-level data mining and machine learning systems given textual information is the most ubiqutious signals. However, practitioners often face the tradeoff between effectiveness of underlying embedding algorithms and cost of training and maintaining various embedding results in large-scale applications. In this paper, we propose a multitask text embedding solution called PinText for three major vertical surfaces including homefeed, related pins, and search in Pinterest, which consolidates existing text embedding algorithms into a single solution and produces state-of-the-art performance. Specifically, we learn word level semantic vectors by enforcing that the similarity between positive engagement pairs is larger than the similarity between a randomly sampled background pairs. Based on the learned semantic vectors, we derive embedding vector of a user, a pin, or a search query by simply averaging its word level vectors. In this common compact vector space, we are able to do unified nearest neighbor search with hashing by Hadoop jobs or dockerized images on Kubernetes cluster. Both offline evaluation and online experiments show effectiveness of this PinText system and save storage cost of multiple open-sourced embeddings significantly.

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