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Wikipedia Pages as Entry Points for Book Search

Marijn Koolen, Gabriella Kazai, and Nick Craswell


A lot of the world's knowledge is stored in books, which, as a result of recent mass-digitisation efforts, are increasingly available online. Search engines, such as Google Books, provide mechanisms for searchers to enter this vast knowledge space using queries as entry points. In this paper, we view Wikipedia as a summary of this world knowledge and aim to use this resource to guide users to relevant books. Thus, we investigate possible ways of using Wikipedia as an intermediary between the user's query and a collection of books being searched. We experiment with traditional query expansion techniques, exploiting Wikipedia articles as rich sources of information that can augment the user's query. We then propose a novel approach based on link distance in an extended Wikipedia graph: we associate books with Wikipedia pages that cite these books and use the link distance between these nodes and the pages that match the user query as an estimation of a book's relevance to the query. Our results show that a) classical query expansion using terms extracted from query pages leads to increased precision, and b) link distance between query and book pages in Wikipedia provides a good indicator of relevance that can boost the retrieval score of relevant books in the result ranking of a book search engine.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the Second ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM'09)
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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