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From "Christine Poerschke (BLOOMBERG/ LONDON)" <cpoersc...@bloomberg.net>
Subject SOLR-8542 contribution and potential patent concerns
Date Mon, 10 Oct 2016 14:22:15 GMT
Hello Everyone!

The Learning-To-Rank (LTR) contribution https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/SOLR-8542 includes
an implementation of the LambdaMART algorithm (https://github.com/apache/lucene-solr/blob/jira/solr-8542/solr/contrib/ltr/src/java/org/apache/solr/ltr/model/LambdaMARTModel.java)
and also an implementation of the RankSVM algorithm (https://github.com/apache/lucene-solr/blob/jira/solr-8542/solr/contrib/ltr/src/java/org/apache/solr/ltr/model/RankSVMModel.java)
with both implementations extending the abstract LTRScoringModel class (https://github.com/apache/lucene-solr/blob/jira/solr-8542/solr/contrib/ltr/src/java/org/apache/solr/ltr/model/LTRScoringModel.java).

The RankSVM implementation class' javadoc provides a background reading link to the http://www.cs.cornell.edu/people/tj/publications/joachims_02c.pdf
conference paper.

The LambdaMART implementation class' javadoc provides a background reading link to the http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/132652/MSR-TR-2010-82.pdf
Microsoft Research Technical Report.

The contribution's README file (https://github.com/apache/lucene-solr/blob/jira/solr-8542/solr/contrib/ltr/README.md)
suggests use of the liblinear library (https://www.csie.ntu.edu.tw/%7Ecjlin/liblinear/) for
training of a machine learning model but the contribution itself is about use of a model and
not about training a model.

The question(s):

It has been brought to my attention that there is https://www.google.com/patents/US20110208735
and also several other LTR patents held by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others.

Has anyone come across a similar situation before? What are the recommended and/or required
steps that should be taken before the contribution is committed to the project repo and included
in an official release? (I am the committer person currently assigned to the SOLR-8542 ticket
and have reached out to the project PMC also already.)

Thanks in advance for your input.


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