The Effect of Bilingual Term List Size on Dictionary-Based Cross-Language Information Retrieval

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2003-02-27

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Bilingual term lists are extensively used as a resource for dictionary-based Cross-Language Information Retrieval (CLIR), in which the goal is to find documents written in one natural language based on queries that are expressed in another. This paper identifies eight types of terms that affect retrieval effectiveness in CLIR applications through their coverage by general-purpose bilingual term lists, and reports results from an experimental evaluation of the coverage of 35 bilingual term lists in news retrieval application. Retrieval effectiveness was found to be strongly influenced by term list size for lists that contain between 3,000 and 30,000 unique terms per language. Supplemental techniques for named entity translation were found to be useful with even the largest lexicons. The contribution of named entity translation was evaluated in a cross-language experiment involving English and Chinese. Smaller effects were observed from deficiencies in the
coverage of domainspecific terminology when searching news stories. UMIACS-TR-2003-22 LAMP-TR-097

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