DOI: 10.7717/peerj-cs.1710 ISSN: 2376-5992

Multi-objective genetic programming strategies for topic-based search with a focus on diversity and global recall

Cecilia Baggio, Carlos M. Lorenzetti, Rocío L. Cecchini, Ana G. Maguitman
  • General Computer Science

Topic-based search systems retrieve items by contextualizing the information seeking process on a topic of interest to the user. A key issue in topic-based search of text resources is how to automatically generate multiple queries that reflect the topic of interest in such a way that precision, recall, and diversity are achieved. The problem of generating topic-based queries can be effectively addressed by Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms, which have shown promising results. However, two common problems with such an approach are loss of diversity and low global recall when combining results from multiple queries. This work proposes a family of Multi-Objective Genetic Programming strategies based on objective functions that attempt to maximize precision and recall while minimizing the similarity among the retrieved results. To this end, we define three novel objective functions based on result set similarity and on the information theoretic notion of entropy. Extensive experiments allow us to conclude that while the proposed strategies significantly improve precision after a few generations, only some of them are able to maintain or improve global recall. A comparative analysis against previous strategies based on Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms, indicates that the proposed approach is superior in terms of precision and global recall. Furthermore, when compared to query-term-selection methods based on existing state-of-the-art term-weighting schemes, the presented Multi-Objective Genetic Programming strategies demonstrate significantly higher levels of precision, recall, and F1-score, while maintaining competitive global recall. Finally, we identify the strengths and limitations of the strategies and conclude that the choice of objectives to be maximized or minimized should be guided by the application at hand.

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