Using query log and social tagging to refine queries based on latent topics

Lidong BING, Wai Har LAM, Tak Lam WONG

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

15 Citations (Scopus)


An important way to improve users' satisfaction in Web search is to assist them to issue more effective queries. One such approach is query refinement (reformulation), which generates new queries according to the current query issued by users. A common procedure for conducting refinement is to generate some candidate queries first, and then a scoring method is designed to assess the quality of these candidates. Currently, most of the existing methods are context based. They rely heavily on the context relation of terms in the historical queries, and cannot detect and maintain the semantic consistency of queries. In this paper, we propose a graphical model to score queries. The proposed model exploits a latent topic space, which is automatically derived from the query log, to assess the semantic dependency of terms in a query. In the graphical model, both term context dependency and topic context dependency are considered. This also makes it feasible to score some queries which do not have much available historical term context information. We also utilize social tagging data in the candidate query generation process. Based on the observation that different users may tag the same resource with different tags of similar meaning, we propose a method to mine these term pairs for new candidate query construction. Copyright © 2011 ACM.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


Bing, L., Lam, W. H., & Wong, T. L. (2011, October). Using query log and social tagging to refine queries based on latent topics. Paper presented at The 20th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management (CIKM 2011), Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.


  • Query log mining
  • Query refinement
  • Social tagging


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