Paper: A Case For Shorter Queries and Helping Users Create Them

ACL ID N07-1028
Title A Case For Shorter Queries and Helping Users Create Them
Venue Human Language Technologies
Session Main Conference
Year 2007
Authors

Information retrieval systems are fre- quently required to handle long queries. Simply using all terms in the query or re- lying on the underlying retrieval model to appropriately weight terms often leads to ineffective retrieval. We show that re- writing the query to a version that com- prises a small subset of appropriate terms from the original query greatly improves effectiveness. Targeting a demonstrated potential improvement of almost 50% on some difficult TREC queries and their as- sociated collections, we develop a suite of automatic techniques to re-write queries and study their characteristics. We show that the shortcomings of automatic meth- ods can be ameliorated by some simple user interaction, and report results that are on average 25% better than the baseline.