Toward a semantic granularity model for domain-specific information retrieval

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Journal / PublicationACM Transactions on Information Systems
Volume29
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Abstract

Both similarity-based and popularity-based document ranking functions have been successfully applied to information retrieval (IR) in general. However, the dimension of semantic granularity also should be considered for effective retrieval. In this article, we propose a semantic granularity-based IR model that takes into account the three dimensions, namely similarity, popularity, and semantic granularity, to improve domain-specific search. In particular, a concept-based computational model is developed to estimate the semantic granularity of documents with reference to a domain ontology. Semantic granularity refers to the levels of semantic detail carried by an information item. The results of our benchmark experiments confirm that the proposed semantic granularity based IR model performs significantly better than the similaritybased baseline in both a bio-medical and an agricultural domain. In addition, a series of user-oriented studies reveal that the proposed document ranking functions resemble the implicit ranking functions exercised by humans. The perceived relevance of the documents delivered by the granularity-based IR system is significantly higher than that produced by a popular search engine for a number of domain-specific search tasks. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study regarding the application of semantic granularity to enhance domain-specific IR. © 2011 ACM.

Research Area(s)

  • Document ranking, Domain ontology, Domain-specific search, Granular computing, Information retrieval