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An Information Theoretic Approach to Automatic Query Expansion

Abstract : Techniques for automatic query expansion from top retrieved documents have shown promise for improving retrieval effectiveness on large collections; however, they often rely on an empirical ground, and there is a shortage of cross-system comparisons. Using ideas from Information Theory, we present a computationally simple and theoretically justified method for assigning scores to candidate expansion terms. Such scores are used to select and weight expansion terms within Rocchio's framework for query reweigthing. We compare ranking with information-theoretic query expansion versus ranking with other query expansion techniques, showing that the former achieves better retrieval effectiveness on several performance measures. We also discuss the effect on retrieval effectiveness of the main parameters involved in automatic query expansion, such as data sparseness, query difficulty, number of selected documents, and number of selected terms, pointing out interesting relationships.
Keywords : Query expansion
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Contributor : Brigitte Bigi <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 4, 2016 - 11:18:14 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 10:38:06 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01392277, version 1



Claudio Carpineto, Renato de Mori, Giovanni Romano, Brigitte Bigi. An Information Theoretic Approach to Automatic Query Expansion. ACM Transactions on Information Systems, Association for Computing Machinery, 2001, 19 (1), ⟨hal-01392277⟩



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