A language modeling approach to search distributed text databases

Yang, Hui and Zhang, Minjie (2003). A language modeling approach to search distributed text databases. In: Carbonell, J. G. and Siekmann, J. eds. AI 2003: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2903. UK: Springer, pp. 196–207.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/b94701

URL: http://www.informatik.uni-trier.de/~ley/db/conf/au...


As the number and diversity of distributed information sources on the Internet exponentially increase, it is difficult for the user to know which databases are appropriate to search. Given database language models that describe the content of each database, database selection services can provide assistance in locate relevant databases of the users information need. In this paper, we propose a database selection approach based on statistical language modeling. The basic idea behind the approach is that, for the databases that are categorized into a topic hierarchy, individual language models are estimated at different search stages, and then the databases are ranked by the similarity to the query according to the estimated language model. Two-stage smoothed language models are presented to circumvent the inaccuracy due to word sparseness. Experimental results demonstrate such a language modeling approach is competitive with current state-of-the-art database selection approaches.

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