A Probabilistic Model Based Approach for Blended Search

Presented at: 18th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2009)

by Ning Liu, Jun Yan, Zheng Chen

Webpage: http://www2009.eprints.org/118/1/p1075.pdf

In this paper, we propose to model the blended search problem by assuming conditional dependencies among queries, VSEs and search results. The probability distributions of this model are learned from search engine query log through unigram language model. Our experimental exploration shows that, (1) a large number of queries in generic Web search have vertical search intentions; and (2) our proposed algorithm can effectively blend vertical search results into generic Web search, which can improve the Mean Average Precision (MAP) by as much as 16% compared to traditional Web search without blending. these components into a single list. However, from the classical meta-search problem's configuration, the query log of component search engines is not available for study. In this extended abstract, we model the blended search problem based on the conditional dependencies among queries, VSEs and all the search results. We utilize the usage information, i.e. query log, of all the VSEs, which are not available for traditional metasearch engines, to learn the model parameters by the smoothed unigram language model. Finally, given a user query, the search results from both generic Web search and different VSEs are ranked together by inferring their probabilities of relevance to the given query. The main contributions of this work are, (1) through studying the belonging vertical search engines' query log of a commercial search engine, we show the importance of blended search problem; (2) we propose a novel probabilistic model based approach to explore the blended search problem; and (3) we experimentally verify that our proposed algorithm can effectively blend vertical search results into generic Web search, which can improve the MAP as much as 16% in contrast to traditional Web search without vertical search blending and 10% to some other some ranking baseline.

Keywords: Poster Session


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