Query Suggestion by Constructing Term-Transition Graphs

  • Yang Song ,
  • Denny Zhou ,
  • Li-wei He

WSDM '12 |

Published by ACM

Query suggestion is an interactive approach for search engines to better understand users information need. In this paper, we propose a novel query suggestion framework which leverages user re-query feedbacks from search engine logs. Specifically, we mined user query reformulation activities where the user only modifies part of the query by (1) adding terms after the query, (2) deleting terms within the query, or (3) modifying terms to new terms. We build a term-transition graph based on the mined data. Two models are proposed which address topic-level and term-level query suggestions, respectively. In the first topic-based unsupervised Pagerank model, we perform random walk on each of the topic-based term-transition graph and calculate the Pagerank for each term within a topic. Given a new query, we suggest relevant queries based on its topic distribution and term-transition probability within each topic. Our second model resembles the supervised learning-to-rank (LTR) framework, in which term modifications are treated as documents so that each query reformulation is treated as a training instance. A rich set of features are constructed for each (query, document) pair from Pagerank, Wikipedia, N-gram, ODP and so on. This supervised model is capable of suggesting new queries on a term level which addresses the limitation of previous methods. Experiments are conducted on a large data set from a commercial search engine. By comparing the with state-of-the-art query suggestion methods, our proposals exhibit significant performance increase for all categories of queries.