Building Taxonomy of Web Search Intents for Name Entity Queries

A significant portion of web search queries are name entity queries. The major search engines have been exploring various ways to provide better user experiences for name entity queries, such as showing “search tasks” (Bing search) and showing direct answers (Yahoo!, Kosmix). In order to provide the search tasks or direct answers that can satisfy most popular user intents, we need to capture these intents, together with relationships between them.

In this paper we propose an approach for building a hierarchical taxonomy of the generic search intents for a class of name entities (e.g., musicians or cities). The proposed approach can find phrases representing generic intents from user queries, and organize these phrases into a tree, so that phrases indicating equivalent or similar meanings are on the same node, and the parent-child relationships of tree nodes represent the relationships between search intents and their sub-intents. Three different methods are proposed for tree building, which are based on directed maximum spanning tree, hierarchical agglomerative clustering, and pachinko allocation model. Our approaches are purely based on search logs, and do not utilize any existing taxonomies such as Wikipedia. With the evaluation by human judges (via Mechanical Turk), it is shown that our approaches can build trees of phrases that capture the relationships between important search intents.

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In  WWW 2010

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