United we fall, divided we stand: A study of query segmentation and PRF for patent prior art search
Ganguly, Debasis and Leveling, Johannes and Jones, Gareth J.F. (2011) United we fall, divided we stand: A study of query segmentation and PRF for patent prior art search. In: 4th International Workshop on Patent Information Retrieval (PaIR'11) at CIKM 2011, 24 Oct 2011, Glasgow, Scotland.
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Previous research in patent search has shown that reducing queries by extracting a few key terms is ineffective primarily because of the vocabulary mismatch between patent applications used as queries and existing patent documents. This ﬁnding has led to the use of full patent applications as queries in patent prior art search. In addition, standard information retrieval (IR) techniques such as query expansion (QE) do not work effectively with patent queries, principally because of the presence of noise terms in the massive queries. In this study, we take a new approach to QE for patent search. Text segmentation is used to decompose a patent query into selfcoherent sub-topic blocks. Each of these much shorted sub-topic blocks which is representative of a speciﬁc aspect or facet of the invention, is then used as a query to retrieve documents. Documents retrieved using the different resulting sub-queries or query streams are interleaved to construct a ﬁnal ranked list. This technique can exploit the potential beneﬁt of QE since the segmented
queries are generally more focused and less ambiguous than the full patent query. Experiments on the CLEF-2010 IP prior-art search task show that the proposed method outperforms the retrieval effectiveness achieved when using a single full patent application text as the query, and also demonstrates the potential beneﬁts of QE to alleviate the vocabulary mismatch problem in patent search.
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