Towards Proactive Information Retrieval in Noisy Text with Wikipedia Concepts

Tabish Ahmed, Sahan Bulathwela
March 29, 2023

This Centre for Artificial Intelligence paper from University College London looks at extracting useful information from the user history to clearly understand informational needs is a crucial feature of a proactive information retrieval system.

Regarding understanding information and relevance, Wikipedia can provide the background knowledge that an intelligent system needs. This work explores how exploiting the context of a query using Wikipedia concepts can improve proactive information retrieval on noisy text. Formulating two models that use entity linking to associate Wikipedia topic with the relevance model. Experiments around a podcast segment retrieval task demonstrate that there is a clear signal of relevance in Wikipedia concepts while a ranking model can improve precision by incorporating them. The research finds that Wikifying the background context of a query can help disambiguate the meaning of the query, further helping proactive information retrieval.