WWW2009 EPrints

Dataplorer: A Scalable Search Engine for the Data Web

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More and more structured information in the form of semantic data is nowadays available. It offers a wide range of new possibilities especially for semantic search and Web data integration. However, their effective exploitation still brings about a number of challenges, e.g. usability, scalability and uncertainty. In this paper, we present Dataplorer, a solution designed to address these challenges. We consider the usability through the use of hybrid queries and faceted search, while still preserving the scalability thanks to an extension of inverted index to support this type of query. Moreover, Dataplorer deals with uncertainty by means of a powerful ranking scheme to find relevant results. Our experimental results show that our proposed approach is promising and it makes us believe that it is possible to extend the current IR infrastructure to query and search the Web of data. Categories and Subject Descriptors: H.3.3 [Information Storage and Retrieval]: Information Search and Retrieval General Terms: Algorithms, Performance, Experimentation Keywords: hybrid query, inverted index, ranking, faceted search sake of the others. The usability challenge is addressed by providing the user with hybrid query capabilities, leveraging the power of structured queries and the ease of use of keyword search. We also propose a faceted search functionality that allows users to progressively compose the structured part of their information need after having started with imprecise keywords. Scalability is one of the main challenges that hybrid queries are facing, due to the large amount of data. Inspired from the cross field of DB and IR integration, we make IR compatible with hybrid search through an extension of the inverted index, and thus able to scale as well as to handle structured information. To ensure that uncertainty does not remain as a problem to return relevant results, we provide a powerful ranking scheme that considers structures of both data and hybrid queries for score propagation and aggregation during results ranking. As an improvement of our previous work [3], we support faceted search with integrated ranking to tackle both usability and uncertainty issues while preserving efficiency.

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