Query expansion techniques for information retrieval: A survey

Hiteshwar Kumar Azad, Akshay Deepak

With the ever increasing size of the web, relevant information extraction on the Internet with a query formed by a few keywords has become a big challenge. Query Expansion (QE) plays a crucial role in improving searches on the Internet. Here, the user's initial query is reformulated by adding additional meaningful terms with similar significance. QE -- as part of information retrieval (IR) -- has long attracted researchers' attention. It has become very influential in the field of personalized social document, question answering, cross-language IR, information filtering and multimedia IR. Research in QE has gained further prominence because of IR dedicated conferences such as TREC (Text Information Retrieval Conference) and CLEF (Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum). This paper surveys QE techniques in IR from 1960 to 2017 with respect to core techniques, data sources used, weighting and ranking methodologies, user participation and applications -- bringing out similarities and differences.

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