Explicit Versus Latent Concept Models for Cross-Language Information Retrieval
The field of information retrieval and text manipulation (classification, clustering) still strives for models allowing semantic information to be folded in to improve performance with respect to standard bag-of-word based models. Many approaches aim at a concept-based retrieval, but differ in the nature of the concepts, which range from linguistic concepts as defined in lexical resources such as WordNet, latent topics derived from the data itself—as in Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) or (Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA)—to Wikipedia articles as proxies for concepts, as in the recently proposed Explicit Semantic Analysis (ESA) model. A crucial question which has not been answered so far is whether models based on explicitly given concepts (as in the ESA model for instance) perform inherently better than retrieval models based on "latent" concepts (as in LSI and/or LDA). In this paper we investigate this question closer in the context of a cross-language setting, which inherently requires concept-based retrieval bridging between different languages. In particular, we compare the recently proposed ESA model with two latent models (LSI and LDA) showing that the former is clearly superior to the both. From a general perspective, our results contribute to clarifying the role of explicit vs. implicitly derived or latent concepts in (cross-language) information retrieval research.
Philipp Cimiano, Antje Schultz, Sergej Sizov, Philipp Sorg, Steffen Staab