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Learning to Attend, Copy, and Generate for Session-Based Query Suggestion

Pascal Fleury
CIKM 2017 (2017)


Users try to articulate their complex information needs during search sessions by reformulating their queries. In order to make this process more effective, search engines provide related queries to help users to specify the information need in their search process. In this paper, we propose a customized sequence-to-sequence model for session-based query suggestion.In our model, we employ a query-aware attention mechanism to capture the structure of the session context. This enables us to control the scope of the session from which we infer the suggested next query, which helps not only handle the noisy data but also automatically detect session boundaries. Furthermore, we observe that based on user query reformulation behavior, a large portion of terms of a query in a session is retained from the previously submitted queries in the same session and consists of mostly infrequent or unseen terms that are usually not included in the vocabulary. We therefore empower the decoder of our model to access the source words from the session context during decoding by incorporating a copy mechanism. Moreover, we propose evaluation metrics to assess the quality of the generative models for query suggestion. We conduct an extensive set of experiments and analysis. The results suggest that our model outperforms the baselines both in terms of the generating queries and scoring candidate queries for the task of query suggestion.