Carlsson et al. present in Semantic Re-Tuning With Contrastive Tension (CT) (Github) an unsupervised learning approach for sentence embeddings that just requires sentences.


During training, CT builds two independent encoders (‘Model1’ and ‘Model2’) with intial parameters shared to encode a pair of sentences. If Model1 and Model2 encode the same sentence, then the dot-product of the two sentence embeddings should be large. If Model1 and Model2 encode different sentences, then their dot-product should be small.

The original CT paper uses batchs that contain multiple mini-batches. For the example of K=7, each mini-batch consists of sentence pairs (S_A, S_A), (S_A, S_B), (S_A, S_C), …, (S_A, S_H) and the corresponding labels are 1, 0, 0, …, 0. In other words, one identical pair of sentences is viewed as the positive example and other pairs of different sentences are viewed as the negative examples (i.e. 1 positive + K negative pairs). The training objective is the binary cross-entropy between the generated similarity scores and labels. This example is illustrated in the figure (from the Appendix A.1 of the CT paper) below:

CT working

After training, the model 2 will be used for inference, which usually has better performance.

In CT_Improved we propose an improvement to CT by using in-batch negative sampling.


In some preliminary experiments, we compate performance on the STSbenchmark dataset (trained with 1 million sentences from Wikipedia) and on the paraphrase mining task for the Quora duplicate questions dataset (trained with questions from Quora).

Method STSb (Spearman) Quora-Duplicate-Question (Avg. Precision)
CT 75.7 36.5
CT-Improved 78.5 40.1

Note: We used the code provided in this repository, not the official code from the authors.

CT from Sentences File

train_ct_from_file.py loads sentences from a provided text file. It is expected, that the there is one sentence per line in that text file.

SimCSE will be training using these sentences. Checkpoints are stored every 500 steps to the output folder.

Further Training Examples

Note: This is a re-implementation of CT within sentence-transformers. For the official CT code, see: FreddeFrallan/Contrastive-Tension