On the role of novelty for search result diversification

Santos, R.L.T., Macdonald, C. and Ounis, I. (2012) On the role of novelty for search result diversification. Information Retrieval, 15(5), pp. 478-502. (doi: 10.1007/s10791-011-9180-x)

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Re-ranking the search results in order to promote novel ones has traditionally been regarded as an intuitive diversification strategy. In this paper, we challenge this common intuition and thoroughly investigate the actual role of novelty for search result diversification, based upon the framework provided by the diversity task of the TREC 2009 and 2010 Web tracks. Our results show that existing diversification approaches based solely on novelty cannot consistently improve over a standard, non-diversified baseline ranking. Moreover, when deployed as an additional component by the current state-of-the-art diversification approaches, our results show that novelty does not bring significant improvements, while adding considerable efficiency overheads. Finally, through a comprehensive analysis with simulated rankings of various quality, we demonstrate that, although inherently limited by the performance of the initial ranking, novelty plays a role at breaking the tie between similarly diverse results.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Macdonald, Professor Craig and Ounis, Professor Iadh
Authors: Santos, R.L.T., Macdonald, C., and Ounis, I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Information Retrieval
ISSN (Online):1573-7659
Published Online:21 December 2011

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