Part of Speech Based Term Weighting for Information Retrieval

Christina Lioma, Roi Blanco

Automatic language processing tools typically assign to terms so-called weights corresponding to the contribution of terms to information content. Traditionally, term weights are computed from lexical statistics, e.g., term frequencies. We propose a new type of term weight that is computed from part of speech (POS) n-gram statistics. The proposed POS-based term weight represents how informative a term is in general, based on the POS contexts in which it generally occurs in language. We suggest five different computations of POS-based term weights by extending existing statistical approximations of term information measures. We apply these POS-based term weights to information retrieval, by integrating them into the model that matches documents to queries. Experiments with two TREC collections and 300 queries, using TF-IDF & BM25 as baselines, show that integrating our POS-based term weights to retrieval always leads to gains (up to +33.7% from the baseline). Additional experiments with a different retrieval model as baseline (Language Model with Dirichlet priors smoothing) and our best performing POS-based term weight, show retrieval gains always and consistently across the whole smoothing range of the baseline.

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