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Ranking is a fundamental and popular problem in search. However, existing ranking algorithms usually restrict the granularity of ranking to full passages or require a specific dense index for each desired level of granularity. Such lack of flexibility in granularity negatively affects many applications that can benefit from more granular ranking, such as sentence-level ranking for open-domain question-answering, or proposition-level ranking for attribution. In this work, we introduce the idea of any-granularity ranking which leverages multi-vector approaches to rank at varying levels of granularity while maintaining encoding at a single (coarser) level of granularity. We propose a multi-granular contrastive loss for training multi-vector approaches, and validate its utility with both sentences and propositions as ranking units. Finally, we demonstrate the application of proposition-level ranking to post-hoc citation addition in retrieval-augmented generation, surpassing the performance of prompt-driven citation generation.

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