Improvement to Chinese information retrieval by incorporating word segmentation and query expansion

Li, Zhihan (2009) Improvement to Chinese information retrieval by incorporating word segmentation and query expansion. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The increasing diversity of the Internet has created a vast number of multilingual resources on the Web. A huge number of these documents are written in various languages other than English. Consequently, the demand for searching in non-English languages is growing exponentially. It is desirable that a search engine can search for information over collections of documents in other languages. This research investigates the techniques for developing high-quality Chinese information retrieval systems. A distinctive feature of Chinese text is that a Chinese document is a sequence of Chinese characters with no space or boundary between Chinese words. This feature makes Chinese information retrieval more difficult since a retrieved document which contains the query term as a sequence of Chinese characters may not be really relevant to the query since the query term (as a sequence Chinese characters) may not be a valid Chinese word in that documents. On the other hand, a document that is actually relevant may not be retrieved because it does not contain the query sequence but contains other relevant words. In this research, we propose two approaches to deal with the problems. In the first approach, we propose a hybrid Chinese information retrieval model by incorporating word-based techniques with the traditional character-based techniques. The aim of this approach is to investigate the influence of Chinese segmentation on the performance of Chinese information retrieval. Two ranking methods are proposed to rank retrieved documents based on the relevancy to the query calculated by combining character-based ranking and word-based ranking. Our experimental results show that Chinese segmentation can improve the performance of Chinese information retrieval, but the improvement is not significant if it incorporates only Chinese segmentation with the traditional character-based approach. In the second approach, we propose a novel query expansion method which applies text mining techniques in order to find the most relevant words to extend the query. Unlike most existing query expansion methods, which generally select the highly frequent indexing terms from the retrieved documents to expand the query. In our approach, we utilize text mining techniques to find patterns from the retrieved documents that highly correlate with the query term and then use the relevant words in the patterns to expand the original query. This research project develops and implements a Chinese information retrieval system for evaluating the proposed approaches. There are two stages in the experiments. The first stage is to investigate if high accuracy segmentation can make an improvement to Chinese information retrieval. In the second stage, a text mining based query expansion approach is implemented and a further experiment has been done to compare its performance with the standard Rocchio approach with the proposed text mining based query expansion method. The NTCIR5 Chinese collections are used in the experiments. The experiment results show that by incorporating the text mining based query expansion with the hybrid model, significant improvement has been achieved in both precision and recall assessments.

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ID Code: 30422
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Xu, Yue & Geva, Shlomo
Keywords: Chinese information retrieval, word segmentation, query expansion
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 12 Feb 2010 06:26
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:55

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