Building simulated queries for known-item topics: an analysis using six european languages

Leif Azzopardi, Maarten de Rijke, Krisztian Balog

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

91 Citations (Scopus)


There has been increased interest in the use of simulated queries for evaluation and estimation purposes in Information Retrieval. However, there are still many unaddressed issues regarding their usage and impact on evaluation because their quality, in terms of retrieval performance, is unlike real queries. In this paper, wefocus on methods for building simulated known-item topics and explore their quality against real known-item topics. Using existing generation models as our starting point, we explore factors which may influence the generation of the known-item topic. Informed by this detailed analysis (on six European languages) we propose a model with improved document and term selection properties, showing that simulated known-item topics can be generated that are comparable to real known-item topics. This is a significant step towards validating the potential usefulness of simulated queries: for evaluation purposes, and becausebuilding models of querying behavior provides a deeper insight into the querying process so that better retrieval mechanisms can be developed to support the user.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGIR '07 Proceedings of the 30th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • multilingual retrieval
  • query simulation
  • query generation


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