Timely Semantics: A Study of a Stream-based Ranking System for Entity Relationships

author: Lorenz Fischer, Department of Informatics, University of Zurich
published: Nov. 10, 2015,   recorded: October 2015,   views: 1362


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In recent years, search engines have started presenting semantically relevant entity information together with document search results. Entity ranking systems are used to compute recommendations for related entities that a user might also be interested to explore. Typically, this is done by ranking relationships between entities in a semantic knowledge graph using signals found in a data source as well as type annotations on the nodes and links of the graph. However, the process of producing these rankings can take a substantial amount of time. As a result, entity ranking systems typically lag behind real-world events and present relevant entities with outdated relationships to the search term or even outdated entities that should be replaced with more recent relations or entities. This paper presents a study using a real-world stream-processing based implementation of an entity ranking system, to understand the effect of data timeliness on entity rankings. We describe the system and the data it processes in detail. Using a longitudinal case-study, we demonstrate (i) that low-latency, large-scale entity relationship ranking is feasible using moderate resources and (ii) that stream-based entity ranking improves the freshness of related entities while maintaining relevance.

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