Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scaling up personalized query results for next generation of search engines

Date:
September 18, 2013
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a way for search engines to provide users with more accurate, personalized search results. The challenge in the past has been how to scale this approach up so that it doesn't consume massive computer resources. Now the researchers have devised a technique for implementing personalized searches that is more than 100 times more efficient than previous approaches.

Researchers are developing ways to improve “personalized” search results on a large scale.
Credit: Image courtesy of North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a way for search engines to provide users with more accurate, personalized search results. The challenge in the past has been how to scale this approach up so that it doesn't consume massive computer resources. Now the researchers have devised a technique for implementing personalized searches that is more than 100 times more efficient than previous approaches.

Related Articles


At issue is how search engines handle complex or confusing queries. For example, if a user is searching for faculty members who do research on financial informatics, that user wants a list of relevant webpages from faculty, not the pages of graduate students mentioning faculty or news stories that use those terms. That's a complex search.

"Similarly, when searches are ambiguous with multiple possible interpretations, traditional search engines use impersonal techniques. For example, if a user searches for the term 'jaguar speed,' the user could be looking for information on the Jaguar supercomputer, the jungle cat or the car," says Dr. Kemafor Anyanwu, an assistant professor of computer science at NC State and senior author of a paper on the research. "At any given time, the same person may want information on any of those things, so profiling the user isn't necessarily very helpful."

Anyanwu's team has come up with a way to address the personalized search problem by looking at a user's "ambient query context," meaning they look at a user's most recent searches to help interpret the current search. Specifically, they look beyond the words used in a search to associated concepts to determine the context of a search. So, if a user's previous search contained the word "conservation" it would be associated with concepts likes "animals" or "wildlife" and even "zoos." Then, a subsequent search for "jaguar speed" would push results about the jungle cat higher up in the results -- and not the automobile or supercomputer. And the more recently a concept has been associated with a search, the more weight it is given when ranking results of a new search.

Search engines have also tried to identify patterns in user clicking behavior on search results to identify the most probable user intent for a search. However, such techniques are impersonal and are applied on a global basis. So, if the most frequent click pattern for a set of keywords is in a particular context, then that context becomes the context associated with queries for most or all users -- even if your recent search history indicates that your query context is about jungle cats.

"What we are doing is different," Anyanwu says. "We are identifying the context of search terms for individual users in real time and using that to determine a user's intention for a specific query at a specific time. This allows us to deal more effectively with more complex searches than traditional search engines. Such searches are becoming more prevalent as people now use the Web as a key knowledge base supporting different types of tasks."

While Anyanwu and her team developed a context-aware personalized search technique over a year ago, the challenge has been how to scale this approach up. "Because running an ambient context program for every user would take an enormous amount of computing resources, and that is not feasible," Anyanwu says.

However, Anyanwu's research team has now come up with a technique that includes new ways to represent data, new ways to index that data so that it can be accessed efficiently, and a new computing architecture for organizing those indexes. The new technique makes a significant difference.

"Our new indexing and search computing architecture allows us to support personalized search for about 2,900 concurrent users using an 8GB machine, whereas an earlier approach supported only 17 concurrent users. This makes the concept more practical, and moves us closer to the next generation of search engines," Anyanwu says.

The paper, "Personalizing Search: A Case for Scaling Concurrency in Multi-Tenant Semantic Web Search Systems," will be presented at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Big Data being held Oct. 6-9 in Santa Clara, Calif. Lead author of the paper is Dr. Haizhou Fu, a former Ph.D. student at NC State. The paper was co-authored by Hyeongsik Kim, a Ph.D. student at NC State. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Scaling up personalized query results for next generation of search engines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918111738.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2013, September 18). Scaling up personalized query results for next generation of search engines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918111738.htm
North Carolina State University. "Scaling up personalized query results for next generation of search engines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130918111738.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Keep Your Android Device Safe This Holiday Season

How to Keep Your Android Device Safe This Holiday Season

Howdini (Nov. 24, 2014) Protect yourself against malware and hackers, especially during the hectic online shopping season. Mobile device security makes a great holiday gift and protects your loved ones from cyber attacks and identity theft. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Keep You and Your Family's Identitiy Safe Online This Holiday Season

How to Keep You and Your Family's Identitiy Safe Online This Holiday Season

Howdini (Nov. 24, 2014) The hectic holiday season is a prime time for online identity theft, so make sure you’re protected.Be cautious when shopping online Internet security software makes a great holiday gift and protects your loved ones from cyber attacks and identity theft. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins