Towards Context-sensitive Information Retrieval Based on Quantum Theory: With Applications to Cross-media Search and Structured Document Access

Lead Research Organisation: The Robert Gordon University
Department Name: School of Computing

Abstract

Consider the following search scenario: I am looking for information about children activities around Cambridge; this information is usually listed at the top of documents. I also want to see images of the listed places, and here is an example image of what sort of activities I am looking for. The weather for this weekend is predicted to be rain, so I prefer indoor activities . This information need contains contextual components: local search, weather. It also contains multimodal components: it specifies where the relevant information can be found in the document structure; it requests text and non-text results; and it requires a mixture of image-, text- and structure-based querying. This type of common and realistic information needs cannot be satisfied with today's search technologies.Context-sensitive search and multimodal search are two major challenges to developing new search technologies that will allow information access systems to be truly usable and valuable and make a fully satisfying impact on today's everyday life. Current IR research cannot deal with these challenges sufficiently because of its traditionally ad-hoc and incremental nature and the lack of a unified theoretical framework and mechanisms to seamlessly integrate context and multimodal search. To address these new challenges, it is essential that a radically new IR theory is developed, leading to a revolutionary shift of the IR paradigm. The growth of context-sensitive information access systems and the proliferation of multimedia and structured information sources, where multimodal access is essential for the efficient and effective e.g. learning and teaching through well-structured multimedia learning resources, searching and browsing of web repositories, cultural heritage collections and multimedia digital libraries, etc., make this revolutionary shift increasingly urgent.This proposal aims to make such a revolutionary shift of the IR paradigm by developing a novel and unified information retrieval (IR) theory based on the Quantum Theory (QT) framework to address the emerging challenges of context-sensitive and multimodal search. The proposed theory will be applied, evaluated, validated and refined in two important scenarios: multimedia and structured document retrieval.It has been shown that there exist peculiar relationships between formal methods in IR and QT, suggesting that a non-classical approach based on quantum theory can potentially resolve the aforesaid challenges. The hypothesis that this project builds on is that the QT theory provides innovation and inspiration into circumventing the emerging context and multimodality issues that current IR and search technologies cannot deal with. It will bring new light into IR research and force us to think about the problem from a different but more revolutionary way. This offers tantalizing possibilities and out of the ordinary implications, some of which, if realized, can lead to genuine breakthroughs and frontier technologies. The project is also innovative in the sense that we will conduct pioneering research in not simply building a generic QT-based IR theory but also applying and evaluating the proposed theory in the practical settings.This is a highly adventurous investigation into a largely unexplored area based on the intriguing connections between QT and IR. The success of this research will make significant and far-reaching impact on both information retrieval and quantum information processing: a completely new paradigm and underlying theory of IR for developing context-sensitive and multimodal search technologies that previously could not be brought about by incrementally extending classical IR models; and an expansion of the territory of quantum information processing.

Publications

10 25 50

Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/F014708/1 30/04/2008 31/10/2008 £323,703
EP/F014708/2 Transfer EP/F014708/1 01/11/2008 31/10/2011 £277,929
 
Description This project aims to make such a revolutionary shift of the IR paradigm by developing a novel IR theory based on the Quantum Theory (QT) framework to address the emerging challenges of context-sensitive and multimodal search. Relationships between formal methods in IR and QT have been shown to exist (van Rijsbergen 2004). In addition, a growing body of literature is supporting the notion that quantum-like phenomena exist in human natural language and text, cognition and decision making, all related to key aspects of the IR process. Corresponding to these quantum-like phenomena are non-classical probabilities that the traditional IR models are unable to support. All the evidence suggests that QT provides suitable building blocks for a non-classical approach that could address these challenges.

The hypothesis that this project builds on is that the QT theory provides innovation and inspiration into circumventing the emerging context and multimodality issues that current IR and search technologies cannot deal with. In the past 3 years, we have developed, implemented and evaluated a generic QT-based paradigm for IR, with special focus on three key themes: (1) Frameworks: general frameworks and operational methods for contextual and multimodal IR; (2) Spaces: geometrical representation and characterisation of context and user cognition through semantic spaces; (3) Interferences: the interferences among documents, topics and user's cognitive status in contextual relevance measurement process. We have implementation, applied and evaluated the QT-based IR methods in suitable IR tasks, such as ad-hoc retrieval, interactive retrieval, and multimedia retrieval.
Exploitation Route Our findings are mostly theoretical, and thus they will be taken forward by other researchers by way of building more contextual information retrieval models. Based on our key findings, there have been a new line of research in quantum IR models that have been developed after the completion of this project, such as the quantum language model and session quantum language models.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)

 
Description International Research Staff Exchange Scheme
Amount € 200,800 (EUR)
Funding ID PIRSES-GA-2009-247590 
Organisation Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions 
Sector Academic/University
Country Global
Start 09/2010 
End 08/2013
 
Description NRP studentship project: Hybrid User Profiling and Adaptation for Personalised Search in Social Media Environment
Amount £25,908 (GBP)
Organisation Northern Research Partnership 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2009 
End 07/2012
 
Title Quamtum Theory inspired information retrieval models 
Description These are a series of information retrieval models inspired by quantum theory, including a multimodal IR model based on quantum interference and quantum measurement; a photon polarisation inspired query expansion and document re-ranking model; a session quantum language model for interactive session search. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Citations of our publications. 
 
Description Marie-Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project QONTEXT 
Organisation Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). We involved them in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Collaborator Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). They all actively participated in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Impact 1. EU Marie Curie IRSES QONTEXT project (PIRSES-GA-2009-247590), 2010-2013, total funding: Euro 200.8K 2. Royal Society of Edinburgh and Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) International Joint Project "Towards a Context-sensitive High-order Language Model for Information Retrieval via Information Geometry", 2011-2013, £12K 3. The 5th International Symposium on Quantum Interaction (QI 2011), General Chair: Dawei Song; Programme Chair: Massimo Melucci (University of Padua); Steering Committee chair: Peter Bruza (Queensland University of Technology)
Start Year 2008
 
Description Marie-Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project QONTEXT 
Organisation Tianjin University
Department School of Computer Science
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). We involved them in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Collaborator Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). They all actively participated in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Impact 1. EU Marie Curie IRSES QONTEXT project (PIRSES-GA-2009-247590), 2010-2013, total funding: Euro 200.8K 2. Royal Society of Edinburgh and Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) International Joint Project "Towards a Context-sensitive High-order Language Model for Information Retrieval via Information Geometry", 2011-2013, £12K 3. The 5th International Symposium on Quantum Interaction (QI 2011), General Chair: Dawei Song; Programme Chair: Massimo Melucci (University of Padua); Steering Committee chair: Peter Bruza (Queensland University of Technology)
Start Year 2008
 
Description Marie-Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project QONTEXT 
Organisation University of Montreal
Department Department of Computer Science and Operations Research
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). We involved them in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Collaborator Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). They all actively participated in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Impact 1. EU Marie Curie IRSES QONTEXT project (PIRSES-GA-2009-247590), 2010-2013, total funding: Euro 200.8K 2. Royal Society of Edinburgh and Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) International Joint Project "Towards a Context-sensitive High-order Language Model for Information Retrieval via Information Geometry", 2011-2013, £12K 3. The 5th International Symposium on Quantum Interaction (QI 2011), General Chair: Dawei Song; Programme Chair: Massimo Melucci (University of Padua); Steering Committee chair: Peter Bruza (Queensland University of Technology)
Start Year 2008
 
Description Marie-Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project QONTEXT 
Organisation University of Padova
Department Department of Information Engineering
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). We involved them in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Collaborator Contribution Through the Renaissance EPSRC project (EP/F014708/2), we established a substantial collaboration with various other organisations, including University of Padua (Italy), Queensland University of Technology (Australia), University of Montreal (Canada) and Tianjin University (China). They all actively participated in the Renaissance research as visiting researchers. In 2010, we collaborated with University of Padua in successfully getting a EU Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme project on Quantum contextual information access and retrieval (QONTEXT), in which QUT, Montreal and TJU are all overseas partners. In 2011, we collaborated with Tianjin University in successfully getting a Royal Society of Edinburgh - Natural Science Foundation of China international joint project.
Impact 1. EU Marie Curie IRSES QONTEXT project (PIRSES-GA-2009-247590), 2010-2013, total funding: Euro 200.8K 2. Royal Society of Edinburgh and Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) International Joint Project "Towards a Context-sensitive High-order Language Model for Information Retrieval via Information Geometry", 2011-2013, £12K 3. The 5th International Symposium on Quantum Interaction (QI 2011), General Chair: Dawei Song; Programme Chair: Massimo Melucci (University of Padua); Steering Committee chair: Peter Bruza (Queensland University of Technology)
Start Year 2008
 
Description NRP PhD studentship project 
Organisation Aston University
Department Computer Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution In the context of our EPSRC Autoadapt and renaissance projects, we collaborated with University of Aberdeen and Yahoo Research in Barcelona in successfully getting a new PhD studentship project from the Northern Research partnership. The PhD project title is: Hybrid User Profiling and Adaptation for Personalised Search in Social Media Environment.
Collaborator Contribution University of Aberdeen and Yahoo Research in Barcelona supported our NRP studentship project application. The student was co-supervised by Dr Jeff Pan of University of Aberdeen.
Impact Leszek Kaliciak completion of his PhD in 2013.
Start Year 2009
 
Description NRP PhD studentship project 
Organisation Yahoo!
Department Yahoo! Research
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution In the context of our EPSRC Autoadapt and renaissance projects, we collaborated with University of Aberdeen and Yahoo Research in Barcelona in successfully getting a new PhD studentship project from the Northern Research partnership. The PhD project title is: Hybrid User Profiling and Adaptation for Personalised Search in Social Media Environment.
Collaborator Contribution University of Aberdeen and Yahoo Research in Barcelona supported our NRP studentship project application. The student was co-supervised by Dr Jeff Pan of University of Aberdeen.
Impact Leszek Kaliciak completion of his PhD in 2013.
Start Year 2009