Query Reformulation Using Anchor Text

author: Van Dang, Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst
published: Feb. 22, 2010,   recorded: February 2010,   views: 4194


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Query reformulation techniques based on query logs have been studied as a method of capturing user intent and improving retrieval effectiveness. The evaluation of these techniques has primarily, however, focused on proprietary query logs and selected samples of queries. In this paper, we suggest that anchor text, which is readily available, can be an effective substitute for a query log and study the effectiveness of a range of query reformulation techniques (including log-based stemming, substitution, and expansion) using standard TREC collections. Our results show that log- based query reformulation techniques are indeed effective with standard collections, but expansion is a much safer form of query modification than word substitution. We also show that using anchor text as a simulated query log is as least as effective as a real log for these techniques.

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