Interactive Query Expansion with Automatically Generated Category-Specific Thesauri

Interactive Query Expansion with Automatically Generated Category-Specific Thesauri

Fabrizio Sebastiani
Copyright: © 2001 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-93-3.ch005
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The categorization of documents into subject-specific categories is a useful enhancement for large document collections addressed by information retrieval systems, as a user can first browse a category tree in search of the category that best matches her interests and then issue a query for more specific documents “from within the category.” This approach combines two modalities in information seeking that are most popular in Web-based search engines, i.e., category-based site browsing (as exemplified by, e.g., Yahoo™) and keyword-based document querying (as exemplified by, e.g., AltaVista™). Appropriate query expansion tools need to be provided, though, in order to allow the user to incrementally refine her query through further retrieval passes, thus allowing the system to produce a series of subsequent document rankings that hopefully converge to the user’s expected ranking. In this work we propose that automatically generated, category-specific “associative” thesauri be used for such purpose. We discuss a method for their generation and discuss how the thesaurus specific to a given category may usefully be endowed with “gateways” to the thesauri specific to its parent and children categories.

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