Diversifying Top-K Results

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment, 2012, 5 pp. 1124 - 1135
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Top-k query processing finds a list of k results that have largest scores w.r.t the user given query, with the assumption that all the k results are independent to each other. In practice, some of the top-k results returned can be very similar to each other. As a result some of the top-k results returned are redundant. In the literature, diversified top-k search has been studied to return k results that take both score and diversity into consideration. Most existing solutions on diversified top-k search assume that scores of all the search results are given, and some works solve the diversity problem on a specific problem and can hardly be extended to general cases. In this paper, we study the diversified top-k search problem. We define a general diversified top-k search problem that only considers the similarity of the search results themselves. We propose a framework, such that most existing solutions for top-k query processing can be extended easily to handle diversified top-k search, by simply applying three new functions, a sufficient stop condition sufficient(), a necessary stop condition necessary(), and an algorithm for diversified top-k search on the current set of generated results, div-search-current(). We propose three new algorithms, namely, div-astar, div-dp, and div-cut to solve the div-search-current() problem. div-astar is an A* based algorithm, div-dp is an algorithm that decomposes the results into components which are searched using div-astar independently and combined using dynamic programming. div-cut further decomposes the current set of generated results using cut points and combines the results using sophisticated operations. We conducted extensive performance studies using two real datasets, enwiki and reuters. Our div-cut algorithm finds the optimal solution for diversified top-k search problem in seconds even for k as large as 2, 000.
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