Monday, April 7, 2008

The Future of Web Search: Beyond Text # Learning to Rank Answers on Large Online QA Collections

Mihai Surdeanu gave the talk “Learning to Rank Answers on Large Online QA Collections”. The idea is to use the large answers collections from Yahoo! Answers in order to learn a better way to rank answers that do not have social reputation yet.

The users’ votes for answers are used to test the possible rank approaches. Therefore, your rank algorithm has to rank first answers with votes.

At the end, a well tuned mix of different strategies gets the best results. No independent strategy is dominant, so the best results come if you mix all of them.

Simple techniques like avoiding answers with less than 4 words are mixed with more complex ones like the comparison of answers in different languages and the use of NLP.

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