Abstract

Query expansion is a well-known method for improving average effectiveness in information retrieval. The most effective query expansion methods rely on retrieving documents which are used as a source of expansion terms. Retrieving those documents is costly. We examine the bottlenecks of a conventional approach and investigate alternative methods aimed at reducing query evaluation time. We propose a new method that draws candidate terms from brief document summaries that are held in memory for each document. While approximately maintaining the effectiveness of the conventional approach, this method significantly reduces the time required for query expansion by a factor of five to ten.