Organizing User Search Histories

TitleOrganizing User Search Histories
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHwang H, Lauw HW, Getoor L, Ntoulas A
JournalKnowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on
Pagination912 - 925
Date Published2012/05//
ISBN Number1041-4347
Keywordsalteration;query, analysis;user, engines;search, engines;text, goal;textual, group, historical, History, identification;query, information, interfaces;, log;sessionization;task-oriented, organization;query, processing;search, query, query;user, quest;query, ranking;search, search, search;long-term, similarity;time, suggestion;result, threshold;user, Web;collaborative

Users are increasingly pursuing complex task-oriented goals on the web, such as making travel arrangements, managing finances, or planning purchases. To this end, they usually break down the tasks into a few codependent steps and issue multiple queries around these steps repeatedly over long periods of time. To better support users in their long-term information quests on the web, search engines keep track of their queries and clicks while searching online. In this paper, we study the problem of organizing a user's historical queries into groups in a dynamic and automated fashion. Automatically identifying query groups is helpful for a number of different search engine components and applications, such as query suggestions, result ranking, query alterations, sessionization, and collaborative search. In our approach, we go beyond approaches that rely on textual similarity or time thresholds, and we propose a more robust approach that leverages search query logs. We experimentally study the performance of different techniques, and showcase their potential, especially when combined together.