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TDT4117: Information retrieval


Tags:

web

query

documents

google

crawler

ranking

multimedia

search

data

indexing

Disclaimer: Not complete

1 - Introduction
1.1 - Information retrieval
Information retrieval deals with the representation, storage, organization of, and access to information items
such as documents, Web pages, online catalogs, structured and semi-structured records, multimedia object. The
representation and organization of the information items should be such as to provide the users with easy
access to information of their interest.
IR includes modeling, Web search, text classification, systems architecture, user interfaces, data visualization,
filtering, languages.
IR consist mainly of building up efficient indexes, processing user queries with high performance, and
developing ranking algorithms to improve the results.
In one form or another, indexes are at the core of every modern information retrieval system.
The web has become a universal repository of human knowledge and culture. Users have created billions of
documents, and finding useful information is not an easy task unless running a search, and search is all about
IR and its technologies.

1.2 - The IR Problem


The IR Problem: the primary goal of an IR system is to retrieve all the documents that are relevant to a user
query while retrieving as few non-relevant documents as possible.
The user of a retrieval system has to translate their information need into a query in the language provided by
the system.
The user is concerned more with retrieveing information about a subject than retrieving data that satisfies the
query. A user is willing to accept documents that contain synonyms of the query terms in the result set, even
when those documents do not contain any query terms.
Data retrieval, while providing a solution to the user of a database system, does not solve the problem of
retrieving information about a subject or topic.
Differences between data retrieval and information retrieval are shown in the table below:
Data retrieval
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Information retrieval
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Content

Data

Information

Data object

Table

Document

Matching

Exact

Partial

Items wanted

Matching

Relevant

Query language

Artificial

Natural

Query specification

Complete

Incomplete

Model

Deterministic

Probabilistic

Structure

High

Less

1.3 - The IR System


The software architecture:
Document collection
Crawler (if this is a Web collection)
Indexer
Retrieval and ranking process
Query parsing and expansion
System query
Retrieval and ranking
The most used index structure is an inverted index composed of all the distinct words of the collection and, for
each word, a list of the documents that contain it. A document collection must be indexed before the retrieval
process can be performed on it. The retrieval process consists of retrieving documents that satisfy either a user
query or a click in a hyperlink. In the last case we say the user is browsing.
Web search is today the most prominent application of IR and its techniques, and has had a major impact on
the development of IR. A new component introduced with the web is the crawler which is discussed in chapter
12.
Impacts of the web is that performance and reliability has become critical characteristics of the IR system, and
need to handle vast sizes of document collections. Search problem has extended beyond the seeking of text
information to encompass user needs (hotel prices, book prices, phone numbers, software download links).
Web spam is sometimes some compelling that it is confused with truly relevant content.
Practical issues on the web includes security, user privacy, copyrights and patent rights. Is a site which
supervises all the information it posts acting as a publisher? And if so, is it responsible for misuse of the
information it posts?

2 - User Interfaces for Search


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2.1 - Introduction
The role of the search user interface is to aid in the searcher's understanding and expression of their
information needs, and to help users formulate their queries, select among available information sources,
understand search results, and keep track of the progress of their search.

2.2 - How People Search


Search interfaces should support a range of tasks, while taking into account how people think about searching
for information. Marchionini makes a disctiction between information lookup and exploratory search. Lookup
tasks are fact retrieval or question answering and are satisfied by short, discrete pieces of information.
Exploratory search can be divided into learning and investigating tasks. Learning searches require more than
single query-response pairs, and involve the searcher spending time scanning and reading multiple
information items, and syntesizing content to form new understanding. Investigative search may be done to
support planning, discover gaps in knowledge, and to monitor an on-going topic.
Users learn as they search where they refine their queries as they go. Such dynamic process is sometimes
referred to as the berry picking model of search. A typical searcher will at first opt to query on a more general
term and either reformulate the query or visit appropriate Web sites and browse to find the desired product.
This is approach is sometimes referred to as orienteering. Web search logs suggest this approach is common and
the proportion of users who modify their queries is about 52%.
Searchers often prefer browsing over keyword searching when the information structure is well-matched to
their information needs. Browsing works well only so long as appropriate links are available, and have
meaningful cues about the underlying information. If at some point midway through the click the searcher
does not see a link leading closer to the goal, then the experience is frustrating and the interface fails from a
usability perspective.
Studies have shown that it is difficult for people to determine whether or not a document is relevant to a topic,
and the less someone knows about a topic, the poorer judge they are about if a search result is relevant to that
topic. Searches are biased towards thinking the top one or two results are better than those beneath it.

2.3 - Search Interfaces Today


At the heart of the typical search session is a cycle of query specification, inspection of retrieval results, and
query reformulation. As the process proceeds, the searcher learns about their topic, as well as about the
available information sources.
The most common way to start a search session is to access a Web browser and use a Web search engine.
Second comes selecting a Web site from a personal collection of previously visited sites. Third comes Web
directories, such as Yahoo's directory.
For Web search engines, the query is specified in textual form. Typically in Web queries text is very short,
consisting of one to three words. If the results given do not look relevant, then the user reformulates their
query. In many cases searchers would prefer to state their information need in more detail, but past experience
with search engines taught them that this methos does not work well, and that keyboard querying combined
with orienteering works better.
Some systems supports Boolean operators. But, Boolean operators and command-line syntax have been shown
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time and again to be difficult for most users to understand, and those who try to use them often do so
incorrectly.
On Web search engines today, conjuctive ranking is the norm, where only documents containing all query
terms are displayed in the results. However, Web search engines have become more sophisticated about
dropping terms that would result in empty hits, while matching the important terms, ranking the hits higher
that have these terms in close proximity to one another, and using the other aspects of ranking that have been
found to work well for Web search.
In design, studies suggest a relationship between query length and the width of the entry form; small forms
discourage long queries and wide forms encourage longer queries.
Auto-complete (or auto-suggest or dynamic query suggestions) which is shown in real time has greatly
improved query specification.
In some Web search engines the query is run immeadiately; on others the user must hit the Return key or click
the Search button.
When displaying the search results, the document surrogate refers to the information that summarizes the
document. The text summary containing text extracted from the document is also critical for assessment of
retrieval results. Several studies have shown that longer results are deemed better than shorter ones for certain
types of information needs. Users engaged in known-item searching tend to prefer short surrogates that clearly
indicate the desired information.
One of the most important query reformulation techniques consists of showing terms related to the query or to
the documents retrieved in response to the query. Usually only one suggested alternative is shown; clicking on
that alternative re-executes the query. Search engines are increasingly employing related term suggestions,
referred to as term expansion. Relevance feedback has been shown in non-interactive or artificial settings to be
able to greatly improve rank ordering, but this method has not been successful from a usability perspective.
In organizing search results, a category system is a set of meaningful labels organized in such a way as to
reflect the concepts relevant to a domain. Most commonly used category structures are flat, hierarchical, and
faceted categories. Flat categories are simply lists of topics or subjects. Hierarchical organization online is most
commonly seen in desktop file system browsers. It is, however, difficult to maintain a strict hieratchy when the
information collection is large. Faceted metadata, has become the primary way to organize Web site content
and search results.Faceted metadata consists of a set of categories (flat or hierarchical).
Usability studies find that users like, and are successful, using faceted navigation, if the interface is designed
properly, and that faceted interfaces are overwhelmingly preferred for collection search and browsing as an
alternative to the standard keyword-and-results listing interface.
Clustering refers to the grouping of items according to some measure of similarity. The greatest advantage is
that it is fully automatic and can be easily applied to any text collection. The disadvantages include an
unpredictability in the form and quality of results.
One drawback of faceted interfaces versus clusters are that the categories of interest must be known in
advance. The largest drawback is the fact that in most cases the category hierachies are built by hand.

2.4 - Visualization in Search Interfaces


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Information visualization has become a common presence in news reporting and financial analysis, but
visualization of inherently abstract information is more difficult, and visualization of textually represented
information is especially challenging.
When using boolean syntax, Hertzum and Frokjaer found that a simple Venn diagram representation produced
more accurate results.
One of the best known experimental visualizations is the TileBars interface which documents are shown as
horizontal glyphs with the locations of the query term hits marked along the glyph. Variations of the TileBars
display have been proposed, including a simplified version which shows only one square per query term, and
color gradation is used to show query term frequency. Other approaches to showing query term hits within
document collections include placing the query terms in bar charts, scatter plots, and tables. A usability study
that compared five views to the Web-style listing, there were no significant differences for task effectiveness for
the other confitions, except for bar charts, which were significantly worse. All confitions had significantly
higher mean task times than the Web-style listing.
Evaluations that have been conducted so far provide negative evidence as to their usefulness. For text mining,
most users of search systems are not interested in seeing how words are distributed across documents.

2.5 - Design and Evaluation of Search Interfaces


Based on years of experience, a set of practices and guidelines have been developed to facilitate the design of
successful interfaces. The practice are collectively referred to as user-centered design, which emphasizes building
the design around people's activites and thought processes, rather than the converse.
The quality of a user interface is determined by how people respond to it. Subjective responses are as, if not
more, important than quantitative measures, because if a person has a choice between two systems, they will
use the one they prefer.
Another major evaluation technique that has become increasingly popular in the last few years is to perform
experiments on a massive scale on already heavily-used Web sites. This approach is often referred to as bucket
testing, A/B testing, or parallel flights. Participants do not knowingly "opt in" to the study; rather, visitors to the
site are selected to be shown alternatives without their knowledge or consent. A potential downside to such
studies is that users who are familiar with the control version of the site may initially react to the unfamilirarity
of the interface.

3 - Modeling
3.1 - IR Models
Modeling in IR is a process aimed at producing a ranking function that assigns scores to documents for a given
query.

3.1.2 Characterization of an IR Model


An information retrieval model consists of four variables [D,Q,F,R(q_i,d_j)] where:

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D Set of the representations of documents in a collection


Q The set of queries given by the user information needs.
F Framework for modeling document representations, queries, and their relationships (sets and Boolean
relations, vectors and linear algebra operation, sample spaces and probability distributions)
R(q_i,d_j) is a ranking function. Gives a ranking to the documents given the query q_i and orders them by
relevance
Term and Document frequency | TF-IDF
The raw frequency of a term in a document is simple how many times it occurs, but the relevance of the
document does not increase proportionally with the term frequency (10 more occurrences does not mean 10
times more relevant). Log frequency weighting lower this ratio:

tfi,j =

1 + log fi,j if fi,j > 0


{
0 otherwise

We want high scores for frequent terms, but we want even higher score for a rare, descriptive term. These
terms introduce a good discrimination value, and their score is captured in the Inverse Document Frequency:

id fi = log

N
ni

Where N is the total number of documents in the collection and ni is the number of documents which contain
keyword ki .
If we combine these two scores we get the best known weighting scheme in IR: the TF-IDF weighting scheme.
This measure increases with the number of occurrences within a document and with the rarity of the terms in
the collection.

wi,j =

(1 + log fi,j ) log

N
ni

if fi,j > 0

otherwise

3.2 Classical Similarity Models


Boolean model
Based on set theory and Boolean algebra. Simple, intuitive, precise semantics. No partial matching or ranking,
so more data retrieval model(than a IR-model). Hard to translate queries to boolean expressions.

Vector Space model


Assigns weights to index terms in queries and documents, used to calculate the degree of similarity between a
query and documents in the collection. This produces a ranked result. Its term-weighting scheme improves
retrieval performance and its partial matching strategy allows retrieval of documents that approximate the
query conditions. The disadvantages of the model is that it assumes all terms are independent. It also is not as
sound as the probabilistic model.
Ranking in the Vector Space model: The query and documents are modeled as vectors. The similarity between
a query and a document is calculated with the Cosine Similarity:

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sim( j , q) =

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dj q
sim(dj , q) =
d q
j

Probabilistic model
There exists a subset of the documents collection that are relevant to a given query. A probabilistic retrieval
model ranks this set by the probability that the document is relevant to the query. The advantage of this model
is that documents are ranked in decreasing order of their probability of being relevant. the disadvantages is the
need to guess the initial separation of documents into relevant and non-relevant sets.
Ranking in the Probabilistic model: The similarity function uses the Robertsen-Sparck Jones equation:

sim(dj , q)

ki qki dj

log

N + .5
ni + .5

3.5 Alternative Probabilistic Models


BM25
Based on experiments with classic probabilistic ranking equation...

Language model
Based on finite state automata...

4 Retrieval Evaluation
4.3 Retrieval Metrics
Precision & Recall
Precision is the fraction of retrieved documents that are relevant. Precision = P(relevant|retrieved)
Recall is the fraction of relevant documents that are retrieved. Recall = P(retrieved|relevant)
Precision and recall are to be used on unranked sets. When dealing with ranked lists you compute the
measures for each of the returned documents, from the most relevant to the least (by their ranking; top 1, top 2,
etc.) This gives you the precision-recall-curve. The interpolation of this result is simply to let each precision be
the maximum of all future points. This removes the "jiggles" in plot, and is necessary to compute the precision
at recall-level 0. A recall-level is ??.

The Harmonic Mean / F-measure


This is a combination of Precision and Recall. The Harmonic Mean of the j-th document is given by:

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F(j) =

2r(j)p(j)
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F(j) =

1
r(j)

2
+

1
p(j)

2r(j)p(j)
r(j) + p(j)

Where r(j) and p(j) is the recall and precision of the j-th document. (The F-measure involves the variables and
. With these values set to 0.5 and 1 we get the Harmonic Mean shown above). It is 0 when no relevant
documents are retrieved, and 1 when all ranked documents are relevant. A high value of F symobls a good
compromise between precision and recall.

Mean Average Precision | MAP


MAP is Average Precision across multiple queries/rankings (recall-levels). It is a single value summary of the
ranking by averaging the precisions obtained after each new relevant dokument is observed (P@n).

Mean Reciprocal Rank | MRR


MRR is the mean RR across multiple queries. It is a measurement that tells you where a relevant document
occurs in a ranked list for a search. It is a metric who favors results whose first correct answer is higher in the
ranking.

5 - Relevance Feedback and Query Expansion


A process to improve the first formulation of a query, make it closer to user intent. Often done iterative (cycle).
Query Expansion (QE): Information related to the query used to expand it. Relevance Feedback (RF):
Information on relevant documents explicitly provided from user to a query.

5.4 Explicit feedback (Manual)


Feedback information provided be the users inspecting the retrieved documents.

Vector Space Model


the Vector Space Model has three, almost identical, methods to improve a users query:

dj

d D

dj

d D

Rocchio Algorithm

q
m = q +

Ide Regular

q
d

dj

m = q +
j
d D
d D

Ide dec hi

q
dj MaxRank(Dn )
m = q +
d D

Dr

|Dn |

Where qm is the modified query, dj is a weigted term vector associated with documents dj , Dr is the set of
relevant documents retrieved, Dn is the set of non-relevant documents, and , and are constants. (The
absolute value means the number of documents in the set.)
The basic idea behind all three is to reformulate the query such that it gets closer to the neighborhood of
relevant documents in the vector space and away from the neighborhood of the non-relevant documents. The
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differences in the methods is that Rocchio normalizes the number of relevant and non-relevant documents, Ide
regular do not. Ide dec hi uses the highest ranked non-relevant document, insted of the sum of all. They all
yield similar results and improved performance (precision & recall). They uses both Query Expansion and Term
Re-weighing, and they are simple (because they compute the modified term wights directly from the set of
retrieved documents).

Probabilistic model
The Relevance Feedback procedure for the Probabilistic model uses statistics found in retrieved documents.

P(ki |R) =

Dr,i
Dr

and P(ki |R ) =

ni Dr,i
NDr

Where Dr is the set of relevant and retrieved documents, and Dr,i is the set of relevant and retrieved
documents that contain ki .
The main advantage of this relevance feedback procedure are that the feedback process is directly related to the
derivation of new weights for the query terms. The disadvantages is that it uses only term reweighing (no
Query Expansion), the document term weight is not incorporated and initial query term weights are
disregarded.

5.5 Implicit feedback (Automated)


No participation of users in the feedback process.

Local Analysis
Clusters
Forms of deriving synonymy relationship between two local terms, building association matrices quantifying
term correlations.
Association clusters are based on the frequency of co-occurrence of terms inside documents, it does not take
into account where in the document the terms occur.
Metric clusters are based on the idea that two terms occurring in the same sentence tend to be more correlated,
and factor the distance between the terms in the computation of their correlation factor.
Scalar clusters are based on the idea that two terms with similar neighborhoods have some synonymy
relationship, and uses this to compute the correlations.

Global Analysis
Determine term similarity through a pre-computed statistical analysis on the complete collection. Expand
queries with statistically most similar terms. Two methods: Similarity Thesaurus and Statistical Thesaurus. (A
thesaurus provides information on synonyms and semantically related words and phrases.) Increases recall,
may reduce precision.

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6 Text Operations
6.6 Document Preprocessing
There are 5 text transformations (operations) used to prepare a document for indexing.
Lexical analysis

Handle digits, hyphens, punctation marks, and the case of letters.

Stopword elimination

Filter out words with low discrimination values.

Stemming

Remove affixes (prefixes and suffixes).

Index term selection

Select words, stems or group of words to be used as indexing elements.

Thesauri

Construct a standard vocabulary by categorizing words within the domain.

Lexical analysis
Numbers are of little value alone and should be removed. Combinations of numbers and words could be kept.
Hyphens (dashes) between words should be replaced with whitespace. Punctuation marks are usually removed,
except when dealing with program code etc. To deal with the case of letters; convert all text to either upper or
lower case.

Stopword elimination
Stopwords are words occurring in over 80% of the document collection. These are not good candidates for
index terms and should be removed before indexing. (Can reduce the index by 40%) This often includes words
as articles, prepositions, conjunctions. Some verbs, adverbs, adjectives. Lists of popular stopwords can be
found on the Internet.

Stemming
The idea of stemming is to let any conjugation and plurality of a word produce the same result in a query. This
improves the retrieval performance and reduce the index size. There are four types of stemming: Affix removal,
Table Lookup, Successor variety, N-grams. Affix removal is the most intuitive, simple and effective and is the focus
of the course, with use of the Porter Algorithm.

Index term selection


Instead of using a full text representation (using all the words as index terms) we often select the terms to be
used. This can be done manually, by a specialist, or automatically, by identifying noun groups. Most of the
semantics in a text is carried by the noun words, but not often alone (e.g. computer science). A noun group are
nouns that have a predefined maximum distance from each other in the text. (syntactic distance)

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Thesauri
To assist a user for proper query terms you can construct a Thesauri. This provides a hierarchy that allows the
broadening and narrowing of a query. It is done by creating a list of important words in a given domain. For
each word provide a set of related words, derived from synonymity relationship.

6.8 Text compression


There are three basic models used to compress text; Adaptive, Static and Semi-static. (A model is the probability
distribution for the next symbol. Symbols can be characters and words.)
The adaptive model passes over the text once and progressively learn the statistical distribution and encodes
the text. Good for general purpose, but decompression must start from the beginning (no direct access).
The static model assumes an average distribution for all input text and it uses one pass to encode the text. It
can have poor performance (compression) when the text deviates from the average. (e.g. english literature vs.
financial text). This model allows for direct access (?).
The semi-static model passes over the text twice; first for modeling, second for compressing. This ensures a
good compression and allows direct access. The disadvantage is the need for two passes and the model should
be stored and sent to the decoder.
Using the above models, there are two general approaches to text compression: statistical and dictionary-based.
A statistical approach has two parts: (1) the modeling, which estimates a probability for each next symbol, and
(2) the coding, which encodes the next symbol as a function of the probability assigned to it by the model. The
compression can be done character- or word-based or code-based (Huffman, dense codes, arithmetic). The
former treats characters or words as symbols, while the latter establish a representation (codeword) for each
source symbol.
A dictionary approach achieve compression by replacing groups of consecutive symbols, or phrases (sequence
of symbols), with a pointer to an entry in a dictionary. There is no distinction between modeling and coding in
this approach. Ziv-Lempel is an adaptive method and Re-Pairing is a semi-static.

9 Indexing and searching


9.2 Inverted Indexes
Inverted means that you can reconstruct the text from the index.
Vocabulary: the set of all different words in the text. Low space requirement, usually kept in memory.
Occurrences: the (position of) words in the text. More space requirement, usually kept on disk.
Basic Inverted Index: The oldest and most common index. Keeps track of terms; in which document and how
many times it occur.
Full Inverted Index: This keeps track of the same things as the basic index, in addition to where in the
document the terms occurs (position).
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Block addressing can be used to reduce space requirements. This is done by dividing text into blocks and let
the occurrences point to the blocks.
Searching in inverted indexes are done in three steps:
1. Vocabulary search - words in queries are isolated and searched separately.
2. Retrieval of occurrences - retrieving occurrence of all the words.
3. Manipulation of occurrences - occurrences processed to solve phrases, proximity or Boolean operations.
Ranked retrieval: When dealing with weight-sorted inverted lists we wont the best result. Sequentially searching
through all the documents are time consuming, we just want the top-k documents. This is trivial with a single
word query; the list is already sorted and you return the first k-documents. For other query we need to merge
the lists. (see Persins algorithm).
When constructing a full-text inverted index there are two sets of algorithms and methods: Internal
Algorithms and External Algorithms. The difference is wether or not we can store the text and the index in
internal, main memory. The former is relatively simple and low-cost, while the latter needs to write partial
indexes to disk and then merge them to one index file.
In general, there are three different ways to maintain an inverted index:
Rebuild, simple on small texts.
Incremental updates, done while searching only and when needed.
Intermittent merge, new documents are indexed and the new index is merged with the existing. This is,
in general, the best solution.
Inverted indexes can be compressed in the same way as documents (chapter 6.8). Some popular coding
schemes are: Unary, Elias- , Elias- and Golomb.
Heaps Law estimates the number of distinct words in a document or collection. Predicting the growth of the
vocabulary size. V = Kn , where n is the size of the document or collection (number of words), and

10 < K < 100, 0 < < 1

Zipfs law estimates the distribution of words across documents in the collection (approximate model). It states
that if t1 is the most common word in the collection, t2 the next most common, and so on, then the frequency of
fi of the i-th most common word is proportional to 1i . That is: fi = ci , where c is a constant. (?)

9.3 Signature Files


Signature files are word-oriented index structures based on hashing. It has a poorer performance than Inverted
indexes, since it forces a sequential search over the index, but is suitable for small texts.
A signature file uses a hash function (or signature) that maps word blocks to bit masks of a given size. The
mask is obtained by bitwise OR-ing the signatures of all the words in the text block.
To search a signature file you hash a word to get a bit mask, then compare that mask with each bit mask of all
the text blocks. Collect the candidate blocks and perform a sequential search for each.

9.4 Suffix Trees and Suffix Arrays


Suffix trees This is a structure used to index, like the Inverted Index , when dealing with large alphabets
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(Chinese Japanese, Korean), agglutinating languages (Finnish, German). A Suffix trie is an ordered tree data
structure built over the suffixes of a string. A Suffix tree is a compressed trie. And a Suffix array is a
flattened tree. These structures handles the whole text as a string, dividing it into suffixes. Either by character
or word. Each suffix is from its start point to the end of the text, making them smaller and smaller. e.g.:
mississippi (1)
ississippi (2)

pi (10)
i (11)
These structures makes it easier to search for substrings but they have large space requirements: A tree takes
up to 20 times the space of the text and an array about 4 times the text space.

11 Web Retrieval
Link-based ranking
HITS, or Hyperlink-Induced Topic Search, divides pages into two sets; Authorities and Hubs. If page i contains
valuable information on a subject, it is called an Authority. If it contains many links to relevant documents
(authorities) it is called a Hub.
Pros

Cons

Quick on small neighborhood graphs

Hub- and authority-score must be calculated for each


query

Query-oriented (ranking according to user


relevance

Weak against advertisement and spam (outgoing links)

Pagerank differs from HITS because it produces a ranking independent of a users query. The concept is that a
page is considered important if it is pointed to by other important pages. Meaning; the PageRank-score for a
page is determined my summing the PageRanks of all pages that point to it.
Pros

Cons

Robust against spam (create inlinks)

Difficult for new pages

Global measure (query independent)

Weak against inlink-farms

Spam techniques
Keyword stuffing and hidden text involves misleading meta-tags, excessive repetition of keywords hidden
from the user with colors, stylesheet tricks, etc. left for the web crawlers to find. Most search engines catch
these now days.
Doorway page is a page optimized for a single keyword and redirects to the real target page.
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TDT4117: Information retrieval - Wikipendium

22.11.2015, 14.34

Lander pages are optimized for a singe keyword, or a misspelled domain name, designed to attract surfers
who will then click on ads.
Cloacking involves to serve two distinctive users different content. Used to serve fake content to search engine
crawler and spam to real users.
Link spam is about creating lots of links pointing to the page you want to promote, and put these links on
pages with high PageRank.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fine balance between spam and legitimate methods. Mostly involves
buying recommendation or working hard for promotion.

14 Multimedia Information Retrieval


14.2 Challenges
A feature is like an attribute, it holds some information about the media needed to index and search.
The semantic gap, denotes the distance between the multimedia content and its meaning. The gap is
increasing from text, speech, image, video and music. (with music having the largest distance from its content
to its meaning).
Feature Ambiguity, mean the lack of global information to interpret content. (e.g. The Aperture Problem).
Data Models are used to provide a framework expressing the properties of the data to be stored and retrieved.
In multimedia IR the data models requirements are:
Extensibility - Possibility to add new data types.
Representation Ability - Ability to represent basic media types and composite objects.
Flexibility - Ability to specify, query, search items at different abstraction levels. And
Storage and Search Efficiency.
Feature Extraction involves gathering information from an object to be used for indexing. There are four levels
of features and attributes:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Metadata - Formal or factual attributes of multimedia objects.


Text Annotation - Text describing object content.
Low Level Content Features - Capturing data patterns and statistics of multimedia object.
High Level Content Features - Attempting to recognize and understand objects.

Indexing are performed over the features extracted from the multimedia object.

14.3 Image Retrieval


There are two approaches to image retrieval: Text-Based (TBIR) and Content-Based (CBIR).
In Text-Based Image Retrieval the features are annotation (tags), made either by people or automatically. The
perception of an image is subjective and the annotations can vary (be imprecise). On the other hand, it is easy
to capture high level abstractions and concepts, like smile and sunset.

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TDT4117: Information retrieval - Wikipendium

22.11.2015, 14.34

In Content-Based Image Retrieval the task is to find similar images to one that the user queries (Query By
Example). This method ignores semantics and uses features like color, texture and shape. Color-Based
Retrieval can represent the image with a color histogram. This will be independent of e.g resolution, focal
point and pose, and the retrieval process is to compare the histograms. Texture-Based Retrieval extracts the
repetitive elements in the image and uses this as a feature.

Video Retrieval and Indexing


A video shot is a logical unit or segment with properties like; from the same scene, single camera motion, a
distinct event or an action, a single indexable event.
The steps in Shot-based Video Indexing and Retrieval is to segment the video into shots, index each shot, apply
a similarity measurement between queries and video shots and retrieve shots with high similarities.
Shot-detection is a process to prepare the video for indexing. R-frames are frames picked to represent each
shot, and these still images are processed for feature expansion (like with image retrieval).
There are also other ways to extract features for a video, like metadata (title, directors, video type, etc.),
annotation either manually or associated with transcripts or subtitles or even speech recognition on sound
track.

Written by
Stian Jensen, cristea, nina, anna, boyebn, thormartin91, viktorfa, tmp, fiLLLip

Last updated: 2 days ago.

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