Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol:5766 pages:92-103
Second international conference on the theory of information retrieval, ICTIR 2009 location:Cambridge, UK date:10-12 September 2009
The difficulty of a user query can affect the performance of
Information Retrieval (IR) systems. This work presents a formal model for quantifying and reasoning about query difficulty as follows: Query difficulty is considered to be a subjective belief, which is formulated on the basis of various types of evidence. This allows us to define a belief
model and a set of operators for combining evidence of query difficulty. The belief model uses subjective logic, a type of probabilistic logic for modeling uncertainties. An application of this model with semantic and pragmatic evidence of about 150 TREC queries illustrates the potential flexibility of this framework in expressing and combining evidence. To our knowledge, this is the first application of subjective logic to IR.