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Understanding Search Engine Queries

  • Speaker: Professor Mark Levene
  • Date: Wednesday, 1 February 2012 from 16:45 to 17:45
  • Location: Room 745, Malet Street

Search engine technology has been steadily advancing in the past 10 years with the massive growth of the Internet and it seems that the major search engines have succeeded in providing an almost perfect information retrieval machine. Still search engines are relatively weak in understanding what users' intentions are. I will discuss two directions to improve this situation. One is involves the classification of queries into a manageable ontology that corresponds to the categories of web pages are usually searching for. The other involves named entity recognition in order to better understand the semantics of queries. I will also discuss domain-specific search, which is not catered for directly by web search engines. In particular I will describe a search engine we are building for historians researching Aramaic texts. (All this research is being done in collaboration with colleagues and research students.)