The Wild Thing Goes Local

Suppose you are on a mobile device with no keyboard (e.g., a cell phone) and you want to perform a “near me” search. Where is the nearest pizza? How do you enter queries quickly? T9? The Wild Thing encourages users to enter patterns with implicit and explicit wild cards (regular expressions). The search engine uses Microsoft Local Live logs to find the most likely queries for a particular location. For example, 7#6 is short-hand for the regular expression: /^[PQRS].*[ ][MNO].*/, which matches “post office” in many places but “Space Needle” in Seattle). Some queries are more local than others. Pizza is likely everywhere, whereas “Boeing Company,” is very likely in Seattle and Chicago, moderately likely nearby, and somewhat likely elsewhere. Smoothing is important. Not every query is observed everywhere.

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In  Proceedings of the 30th annual international ACM SIGIR conference on Research and development in information retrieval

Publisher  Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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