Personal name classification in web queries


Personal names are an important kind of Web queries in Web search, and yet they are special in many ways. Strategies for retrieving information on personal names should therefore be different from the strategies for other types of queries. To improve the search quality for personal names, a first step is to detect whether a query is a personal name. Despite the importance of this problem, relatively little previous research has been done on this topic. Since Web queries are usually short, conventional supervised machine-learning algorithms cannot be applied directly. An alternative is to apply some heuristic rules coupled with name-term dictionaries. However, when the dictionaries are small, this method tends to make false negatives; when the dictionaries are large, it tends to generate false positives. A more serious problem is that this method cannot provide a good trade-off between precision and recall. To solve these problems, we propose an approach based on the construction of probabilistic name-term dictionaries and personal name grammars, and use this algorithm to predict the probability of a query to be a personal name. In this paper, we develop four different methods for building probabilistic name-term dictionaries in which a term is assigned with a probability value of the term being a name term. We compared our approach with baseline algorithms such as dictionary-based look-up methods and supervised classification algorithms including logistic regression and SVM on some manually labeled test sets. The results validate the effectiveness of our approach, whose <i>F1</i> value is more than 79.8%, which outperforms the best baseline by more than 11.3%

DOI: 10.1145/1341531.1341553
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@inproceedings{Shen2008PersonalNC, title={Personal name classification in web queries}, author={Dou Shen and Toby Walker and Zijian Zheng and Qiang Yang and Ying Li}, booktitle={WSDM}, year={2008} }