Document generality: its computation for ranking

Yan, Xin; Li, Xue and Song, Dawei (2006). Document generality: its computation for ranking. Australian Computer Science Communications, 28(2) pp. 109–118.


The increased variety of information makes it critical to retrieve documents which are not only relevant but also broad enough to cover as many different aspects of a certain topic as possible. The increased variety of users also makes it critical to retrieve documents that are jargon free and easy-to-understand rather than the specific technical materials. In this paper, we propose a new concept namely document generality computation. Generality of document is of fundamental importance to information retrieval. Document generality is the state or quality of docu- ment being general. We compute document general- ity based on a domain-ontology method that analyzes scope and semantic cohesion of concepts appeared in the text. For test purposes, our proposed approach is then applied to improving the performance of doc- ument ranking in bio-medical information retrieval. The retrieved documents are re-ranked by a combined score of similarity and the closeness of documents’ generality to that of a query. The experiments have shown that our method can work on a large scale bio-medical text corpus OHSUMED (Hersh, Buckley, Leone & Hickam 1994), which is a subset of MEDLINE collection containing of 348,566 medical journal references and 101 test queries, with an encouraging performance.

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