Understand Jina Recursive Document Representation

In Jina, each Document is represented as a recursive representation (tree).

A rooted recursive representation has a root node and every node has X children. In Jina, the root node is the document itself, while the left & right children are referred to as chunks and matches respectively.

rooted-binary-tree

The above image illustrates a basic document structure: A document (root node) and the two possible child nodes: chunks and matches. chunks are a sequence of documents which is attached to the root document with a higher granularity degree. matches is a sequence of documents which are semantically related to the root document. We’ll dive into these concepts in this chapter:

Chunks

Each Jina Document (potentially) consists of a list of chunks. A chunk is a small semantic unit of a Document, like a sentence or a 64x64 pixel image patch.

Think about these use cases: you want to search a document at a specific granularity level, e.g. a sentence or a paragraph. Or your query consists of multiple modalities, such as a piece of text together with an image. chunk makes it feasible!

In Jina primitive data types, chunk is defined as a property of a Document:

from jina import Document

with Document() as root:
    root.text = 'What is love? Oh baby do not hurt me.'
# Initialised a document as root with 0 chunks.
print(len(root.chunks))
>>> 0
# Initialise two documents and add as chunks to root.
with Document() as chunk1:
    chunk1.text = 'What is love?'
    root.chunks.add(chunk1)
with Document() as chunk2:
    chunk1.text = 'Oh baby do not hurt me.'
    root.chunks.add(chunk2)
# Now the document has 2 chunks
print(len(root.chunks))
>>> 2

What happened by adding chunk to root?

print(root.granularity)
>>> 0
print(root.chunks[0].granularity)
>>> 1
root.id == root.chunks[0].parent_id
>>> True

This can be seen in the image below:

granularity

The code sample and graph above demonstrates the basic idea of a chunk in a Document. In the beginning, we initialized a Document with granularity=0 (by default). We then initialized two chunks and add them to the root document. Two things happened when adding the chunk to root:

  1. The granularity of the chunk has been increased by 1 (default 0).

  2. The chunk has been referenced to its parent: root.

This allows Jina (and you) to query chunks and reference back to its root document at any granularity level.

Matches

In a neural search system (and traditional retrieval system), matches are the expected documents returned from the system given the user query. In Jina, matches could happen at the root level or any chunk level.

To fully understand the concept of matches, we introduce a new term, named adjacency (short for a in the diagram), which reflects the level of the document it is connected to.

NOTE: granularity and adjacency apply to both chunks and matches.

from jina import Document

with Document() as root:
    root.text = 'What is love? Oh baby do not hurt me.'
print(root.adjacency)
>>> 0
# Initialise two documents and add as chunks to root.
with Document() as chunk1:
    chunk1.text = 'What is love?'
    root.chunks.add(chunk1)
with Document() as chunk2:
    chunk1.text = 'Oh baby do not hurt me.'
    root.chunks.add(chunk2)
# Add a match document.
with Document() as match:
    # a match document semantically related to our root
    match.text = 'What is love? Oh please do not hurt me.'
    root.matches.add(match)
print(len(root.matches))
>>> 1
print(root.matches[0].granularity)
>>> 0
print(root.matches[0].adjacency)
>>> 1

adjacency

In the code snippet and diagram above, we initialized a Document as root with the text: What is love? Oh, baby do not hurt me.. And a Document with text What is love? Oh please do not hurt me was added as a match to the root. The matched document match is a document without any parents, so it stays at the same level as root with a granularity value of 0. Meanwhile, since match is the retrieved result from root, so the adjacency increased to 1.

By default, the root node has an adjacency of 0, and the value increases by 1 when it hits a match.

Let’s go deeper: Recursive Document Representation

Till now, we’ve introduced chunks and matches with a depth of 1. While in a real-world scenario, things could be much more complicated than this. For instance, a chunk could be further divided into small chunks, and a chunk at any level might have it’s own matches at that level.

go-deeper

Jina has defined a recursive structure with arbitrary width and depth instead of a trivial bi-level structure. Roughly speaking, chunks can have the next level chunks and the same level matches; and so do matches. This could go on and on. The following figure illustrates this structure Ref: New Features in Jina v0.5 You Should Know About.

recursive

This recursive structure provides Jina the flexibility to cover any complex use case that may require search at different semantic units. Besides, the recursive structure enables Jina rankers to accumulate scores from lower granularities to upper granularities, such as Chunk2DocRankers. For example, in NLP a long document is composed of semantic chapters; each chapter consists of multiple paragraphs, which can be further segmented into sentences. In CV, a video is composed of one or more scenes, including one or more shots (i.e. a sequence of frames taken by a single camera over a continuous period of time). Each shot includes one or more frames. Such hierarchical structures can be very well represented with the recursive representation.

If we look from a tree view (with a depth of 3):

tree-view

Document Traversal with traversal paths

As you already learned from Jina 101, you needs to apply transformation (i.e. a callback) on a different level of documents. Given the tree structure, how could we achieve that? The answer is traversal.

Jina has defined a method called traversal within the class of Document, which looks like this:

def traverse(self, traversal_path: str, callback_fn: Callable, *args, **kwargs) -> None
    """Traversal apply `:meth:callback_fn` on the recursive tree representation."""
    ...

This allows you to apply callback_fn based on traversal_path. The traversal_path is defined as below:

nodes

With these pre-defined node names, you’re able to apply any callbacks (defined as _apply_all in the driver) to a specific node. In the below YAML configuration, the VectorSearchDriver was applied to node c, KVSearchDriver was applied to node cm (matches of chunks).

!CompoundIndexer
...
requests:
  on:
    SearchRequest:
      - !VectorSearchDriver
        with:
          traversal_path: ['c']
      - !KVSearchDriver
        with:
          traversal_path: ['cm']