1;3409;0c Transfer Understanding from Head Queries to Tail Queries

Transfer Understanding from Head Queries to Tail Queries

Proceedings of the 23rd ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management, 2014
Pages: 1299-1308DOI: 10.1145/2661829.2662078



One of the biggest challenges of commercial search engines is how to handle tail queries, or queries that occur very infrequently. Frequent queries, also known as head queries, are easier to handle largely because their intents are evidenced by abundant click-through data (query logs). Tail queries have little historical data to rely on, which makes them difficult to be learned by ranking algorithms. In this paper, we leverage knowledge from two resources to fill the gap. The first is a general knowledgebase containing different granularities of concepts automatically harnessed from the Web. The second is the click-through data for head queries. From the click-through data, we obtain an understanding of queries that trigger clicks. Then, we show that by extracting single or multi-word expressions from both head and tail queries and mapping them to a common concept space defined by the knowledgebase, we are able to transfer the click information of the head queries to the tail queries. To validate our approach, we conduct large scale experiments on two real data sets. One is a mixture of head and tail queries, and the other contains pure tail queries. We show that our approach effectively improves tail query search relevance.