Lecture 9: Rank Aggregation in
MetaSearch
•
MetaSearch Engine
•
Social Choice Rules
•
Rank Aggregation
Choices of Search Engines
•
Many search engines exist to compete for
users
–
The results are not necessarily the same
–
Different users prefer different search engines
–
Search results may, in the future, be biased
towards paid advertisements.
MetaSearch Engine
•
Metasearch Engines are designed to
increase the coverage of web by forwarding
users’ queries to multiple search engines
–
Users’ requests are sent to multiple search
engines such as AlltheWeb, Google, MSN.
•
Then the results from the individual search
engine are combined into a single result set
to present to users.
Different Forms of MetaSearch
•
Submit different representations of the
same query to the same search engine,
then combine the results.
•
Submit the same query to several search
engine adopting different information
retrieval models, then combine the results.
•
How to combine the results retrieved by
different source search engines is
crucial for the success of a metasearch
engine.
•
And this is the problem that social
choice theory has been trying to
answer.
Issues
Search Engine Watch
•
Interesting meta search engines are listed at
–
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/links/article.ph
p/2156241
Social Choice Theory
•
Studies on protocols that help a group
of people make collective decisions,
such as vote.
A Fundamental problem
•
Given a collection of
agents
(voters)
–
with preferences over different
alternatives
(allocations, outcomes),
•
how should society evaluate these
alternatives and make a decision for all
–
that may be
for
the will of some voters but
against
that of others.
Applications
•
Voters elect president from several
candidates.
•
National polls for economic or political
policy of the government
•
The procedure or rule of election
•
The rank of metasearch engine obtained
from those of search engines
Group Descisions
How do we make decisions
•
Flip a coin?
•
Dictatorship?
•
Democracy (Majority rule)?
Group Decision Rules
•
Majority rule ,
•
Condorcet paradox (voting cycle)
•
Borda rule
•
A set of voters V={v1,v2,v3,…,Vn}
•
A set of alternatives or outcomes
S={s1,s2,s3,…Sm}, with S=m; and
•
A set of preference relation P={R1,R2,R3…Rn},
called a preference profile,
–
the preference relation R
i
for each voter i is a
permutation (order) of elements in S.
Mathematical model
Example 1 Majority Rule
•
3 rational people have rational preferences
over 2 alternatives {x,y}
Person
1 2 3
1
st
X
Y
X
1 : X>Y
Pref.
i.e.Person 2 : Y>X
2
nd
Y
X
Y 3 : X>Y
How to Aggregate their preferences? How to choose?
•
Using majority rule.
•
Since more than ½ people (two out of
three) prefer
x
to
y
.
•
Then the group prefers
x
to
y
Example 2 Condorcet Paradox
•
3 rational people have rational
preferences over 3 alternatives {x,y,z}
Person
1 2 3
1
st
X
Y
Z
1 : X>Y>Z
Pref.
2
nd
Y
Z
X
i.e. Person 2 : Y>Z>X
3
rd
Z
X
Y 3 : Z>X>Y
•
Person
1 2 3
1
st
X
Y
Z
1 : X>Y
Pref. 2
nd
Y
Z
X
for (x,y) 2 : Y>X
X>Y
3
rd
Z
X
Y 3 : X>Y
•
Similarly, for (Y,Z) we can get
Y>Z
; for (Z,X) we
can get
Z>X
.
•
Then X>Y>Z>X (cycling) , Intransitive
Not
rational
Binary/paired Comparison With Majority rule
•
It was noted by Condorcet in the 18 century
that no alternative can win a majority against
all other alternatives.
•
Pairwise majority is not satisfactory in all
cases.
Example 3 Borda Rule
•
For each voter,
–
associate the number 1 with the most
preferred alternative,
–
2 with the second and so on,
•
Assign to each alternative the number
equal to
–
the sum of the numbers the individual voters
assigned to the alternative.
Person
1 2 3
1
st
X(1)
Y(1)
X(1)
X(4) X
Pref. 2
nd
Y(2)
X(2)
W(2)
Y(7)
Y
3
rd
Z(3)
W(3)
Z(3) Z(10) W
4
th
W(4)
Z(4)
Y(4) W(9) Z
Then We get choice X>Y>W>Z
•
For above example, if we use binary/paired
comparison With majority rule . We can get
X>Y
in 2 out of 3,
Y>W
in 2 out of 3,
W>Z
in 2 out of 3,
X>W
in 3 out of 3,
X>Z
in 3 out of 3,
Y>Z
in 2 out of 3
Then we can achieve same choice
X>Y>W>Z
•
For the previous example we
had trouble with majority rule
via binary/paired comparison,
we get a tie between all three
alternatives with the Borda
’
s
rule:
–
All three alternatives get a sum
of 6.
•
Some variations
1
with relevant scores available
allotting each input system a point
p
to be
distributed according to relevance scores of the
documents.
2
Weighted Borda

rule
Each voter may not have equal effectiveness to
the final result. We may set more weight to good
quality input systems.
•
Condorcet winner algorithm
It also comes from social choice theory. The
Condorcet algorithm says that any candidate
that can beat all other candidates in a head

to

head contest (pair

wise comparison)
should win the election.
•
Step 1,
Construct Condorcet Graph.
For each candidate pair (x,y), there exists an edge
from x to y if x would receive at least as many votes
as y in a head

to

head contest.
In Condorcet graph, there is at least one directed
edge between every pair of candidates. ( we call the
graph is semi

complete)
It may contains cycles in the graph. This is due to
voting paradox of the condorcet voting.
•
Step 2
, We form a new acyclic graph from an
old cyclic one by contracting all of the nodes
in a cycle into one. It is a strongly connected
component graph (SCCG).
A directed graph is
strongly connected
if for any two
nodes ua nd v, there are paths from u to v and from v
to u.
Definition of
Strongly connected component(SCC)
:
A
strongly connected
subgraph
, S, of a
directed
graph
, D, such that no
vertex
or subset of vertices of
D can be added to S such that the new subgraph is
still strongly connected.
The graph is totally orderable at the level of the
SCC’s and each SCC is a “pocket” of cycles,
within which each candidate is tied. (Why?)
Step 3
, The condorcet

consistent Hamiltonian
path is any Hamiltonian path through Condorcet
graph.
Definition
Hamiltonian path
: A path between two vertices
of a graph that visits each vertex exactly once.
•
Theorem 1
. Suppose x and y are nodes in a
graph g, and that X and Y are nodes of the
associated SCCG G such that x X and y Y.
If there exists a path from X to Y in G, then
every Condorcet path of g has x before y.
Refer to
[Javed A. Aslam, Mark Montague 2001] for
proof.
Rank Aggregation in MetaSearch
Here we discussed two cases which using
algorithm rooted at social choice theory for
MetaSearch rank aggregation
.
•
Data fusion track in TREC
[Javed A. Aslam, Mark Montague 2001]
Models for Metasearch
in SIGIR2001
•
Rank aggregation for web search engine
[Cynthia Dwork, Ravi Kumar, Moni Naor, D.Sivakumar 2001]
Rank Aggregation Methods for the Web
in WWW10
Data fusion track in TREC
•
TREC (Text Retrieval Conference ,see
http://trec.nist.gov/
) maintains about 6Gb of
SGML tagged text, queries and respective
answers for evaluation purposes.
•
The TREC organizers distribute data sets in
advance and 50 new queries each year.
•
The competing teams then submit ranked lists of
documents that their system gave in response to
each query. And these retrieval systems will be
evaluated.
•
These ranked lists are available for
metasearch researchers to download and
use.
•
For each query, every retrieval system will
return top 1000 documents and relevant
score is available.
•
Then
given these results retrieved by many
different retrieval systems, how to
aggregate them for better performance
?
Previous algorithms
•
Min, Max and Average Models
[Fox and Shaw,1995]
•
Linear Combination Model
[Bartell 1995]
•
Logistic Regression Model
Example
•
Min, Max and Average model
The final score of each document
d
is based on the scores
given to
d
by each input systems (voters).
Algorithm Final score
CombMin minimum of individual relevance scores
CombMed median of individual relevance scores
CombMax maximum of individual relevance scores
CombSum sum of individual relevance scores
CombANZ CombSum / num non

zero relevance
scores
CombMNZ CombSum * num non

zero relevance
scores
•
Linear Combination Model (LC model)
The final score of document d is a simply
linearly (each weighted differently)
combining the normalized relevance
scores given to each document.
a
i
—
weight
s
i
(d)
—
relevance score
i
i
i
LC
d
s
a
d
S
)
(
)
(
Experiment result on TREC
Model
•
The performance of rank aggregation is
evaluated by average precision over the queries
•
Score

based borda

fuse (LC model) is usually
the best method among several borda variant
algorithms.
•
It is better than best input system over most of
data collection. Such as TREC3, TREC5
Experiment result II
•
The performance of rank aggregation is evaluated by
average precision over the queries.
•
Condorcet

fusion is the only algorithm that , without training
data, ever matches the performance of the best input
system over TREC 9.
•
Condorcet

fusion seems particularly sensitive to the
dependence of input systems. If the input systems (voters)
are too similar, the performance will decrease.
Rank aggregation methods for web
New Challenges:
Different from the case in
TREC data fusion,
–
The coverage of various search engine is
different
–
Thus some highly relevant web pages may not
be ranked by some search engines.
–
Therefore, each voter ranks a partial
candidate list
Preliminaries
•
Given a universe U, an ordered list with respect
to U is an ordering of a subset S U, i.e.,
,with each and is some
ordering relation on S.
•
If contains
–
all the elements in U, then it is said to be a
full list
,
–
otherwise it is called
partial list
.
]
...
[
2
1
d
x
x
x
,
S
x
i
•
Distance measures between two full lists with
respect to a set S
–
The
Kendall tau distance
–
It counts the number of pairwise disagreements between two
lists.
–
The distance is given by
–
Normalize it by dividing the maximum possible value
)}
(
)
(
),
(
)
(
,

)
,
{(
)
,
(
j
i
but
j
i
j
i
j
i
K
2
/
2
S
•
Spearman footrule distance
•
Given two full lists and , the distance is given by
•
Normalize it by dividing the maximum value
s
i
i
i
F
1
)
(
)
(
)
,
(
2
/
2
S
•
Distance measures for more than 2 list
Given several full lists , for instance, the
normalized
Footrule distance
of to is
given by
If are partial lists, let U denote the union of
elements in and let be a full list with
respect to U. Considering the distance between
and the projection of with respect to , we have
the
induced footrule distance
k
,...,
,
,
2
1
k
,...,
,
2
1
k
i
i
k
F
k
F
1
2
1
)
,
(
)
/
1
(
)
,...,
,
,
(
k
,...,
,
2
1
k
,...,
,
2
1
i
i
k
i
i
k
i
F
F
1

1
)
,
(
)
,...,
,
(
Optimal rank aggregation
The question is
Given (full or partial) lists , find a such that is a
full list with respect to the union of the elements of
minimizes
The aggregation obtained by optimizing Kendall distance is
called
Kemeny optimal aggregation
.
k
,...,
,
2
1
k
,...,
,
2
1
)
,...,
,
,
(
2
1
k
K
•
When k>=4,computing the
Kemeny
optimal aggregation
is NP

hard.
(please refer to
[Cynthia Dwork, Ravi Kumar, Moni
Naor, D.Sivakumar 2001] for detailed proof )
We can use
Spearman footrule distance
to
approximate the Kendall distance.
LCS approach (My own method)
•
Given n lists
l
1,1
, l
1, 2
, …, l
1, n1
;
l
2,1
, l
2, 2
, …, l
2, n2
;
l
3,1
,l
3,2
, …, l
3, n3
;
…..
l
m,1
, l
m,2
, …, l
m,nm
,
Find a longest common subsequence for
these lists.
LCS approach (My own method)
•
LCS is NP

hard for m sequences if some
elements appear twice in a sequence.
•
For the lists obtained by search engines,
each document appears at most once.
•
There exists efficient algorithm to solve the
problem for the special case.
•
Assume n
i
=n
j
for i, j=1, 2, ….
Efficient algorithm for LCS of m
sequences
•
Fixed the order of the first sequence as
1, 2, …, n
1
.
•
Define
d(i)
to be the length of LCS for
the elements
1, 2, …, i
that contains
i
in
the LCS.
Computation of d(i,1) and d(i,2)
d(i)=max
k
d(k)+1 such that
k is always
before i in all the
m
lists. (if k does not
exist, d(i)=1.)
The length of the LCS is max d(i) for i=1, 2,
…, n
1
.
A backtracking process can give the LCS.
An Example:
l
1
=1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.
l
2
=2,1,3,4,5,6,7,9,8,10
l
3
=2,3,5,4,1,6,7,8,9,10
l
4
=2,3,5,7,4,6,1,7,8,9,10
d(1)=1, d(2)=1. d(3)=d(2)+1=2.
d(4)=d(3)+1=3. d(5)=d(3)+1=3.
d(6)=d(5)+1=4. d(7)=d(6)+1=5.
d(8)=d(7)+1=6.
d(9)=d(7)+1=6.
d(10)=d(9)+1=7.
The final length is 7. the LCS is 2,3,4 ,6,7,8,10
2,3,4, 6, 7, 9, 10 is a LCS, too.
When n
i
’s are different
We delete those elements that are absent
in some sequence.
Examlple, l
1
= 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
l
2
=2, 1, 5, 4, 6
l
3
=2, 3, 4, 5, 6,
l
4
=1,4, 3, 5, 6,
since 1 is not in l
3
, 2 is not in l
4
and 3 is not in l
2
,
we can compute the LCS for
l’
1
= 4, 5, 6
l
2
= 5, 4, 6
l
3
= 4, 5, 6,
l
4
= 4, 5, 6. The final result is 4, 6.
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