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Cornolti, Marco, Ferragina, Paolo, Ciaramita, Massimiliano, Rüd, Stefan and Schütze, Hinrich (December 2018): SMAPH: A Piggyback Approach for Entity-Linking in Web Queries. In: ACM Transactions on Information Systems, Vol. 37, No. 1, 13 [PDF, 1MB]

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We study the problem of linking the terms of a web-search query to a semantic representation given by the set of entities (a.k.a. concepts) mentioned in it. We introduce SMAPH, a system that performs this task using the information coming from a web search engine, an approach we call “piggybacking.” We employ search engines to alleviate the noise and irregularities that characterize the language of queries. Snippets returned as search results also provide a context for the query that makes it easier to disambiguate the meaning of the query. From the search results, SMAPH builds a set of candidate entities with high coverage. This set is filtered by linking back the candidate entities to the terms occurring in the input query, ensuring high precision. A greedy disambiguation algorithm performs this filtering; it maximizes the coherence of the solution by itera- tively discovering the pertinent entities mentioned in the query. We propose three versions of SMAPH that outperform state-of-the-art solutions on the known benchmarks and on the GERDAQ dataset, a novel dataset that we have built specifically for this problem via crowd-sourcing and that we make publicly available.

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