LM Approaches to Filtering

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LM Approaches to Filtering. Richard Schwartz, BBN LM/IR ARDA 2002 September 11-12, 2002 UMASS. Topics. LM approach What is it? Why is it preferred? Controlling Filtering decision. What is LM Approach?. We distinguish all ‘statistical’ approaches from ‘probabilistic’ approaches.

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### LM Approaches to Filtering

Richard Schwartz, BBN

LM/IR ARDA 2002

September 11-12, 2002

UMASS

Topics
• LM approach
• What is it?
• Why is it preferred?
• Controlling Filtering decision
What is LM Approach?
• We distinguish all ‘statistical’ approaches from ‘probabilistic’ approaches.
• The tf-idf metric computes various statistics of words and documents.
• By ‘probabilistic’ approaches, we (I) mean methods where we compute the probability of a document being relevant to a user’s need, given the query, the document, and the rest of the world, using a formula that arguably computes

P(Doc is Relevant | Query, Document, Collection, etc.)

• If we use Bayes’ rule, we end up with the prior for each document, p(Doc is Relevant | Everything except Query) and the likelihood of the query p(Q | Doc is Relevant)
• The LM approach is a solution to the second part of this.
• The prior probability component is also important.
What it is not
• If we compute a LM for the query and a document and ask the probability that the two underlying LMs are the same, I would NOT call this a posterior probability model.
• The LMs would not be expected to be the same even with long queries.
Issues in LM Approaches for Filtering
• We (ideally) have three sets of documents:
• Positive documents
• Negative documents
• Large corpus of unknown (mostly negative) documents
• We can estimate a model for both positive and negative documents
• We can find more positive documents in large corpus
• We use large corpus to smooth models from positive and negative documents
• We compute the probability of each of each new document given each of the models
• The log of the ratio of these two likelihoods is a score that indicates whether the document is positive or negative.
Language Modeling Choices
• We can model the probability of the document given the topic in many ways.
• A simple unigram mixture works surprisingly well.
• Weighted mixture of distributions from the topic training and the full corpus
• We improve over the ‘naïve Bayes’ model significantly by using the Estimate Maximize technique
• We can extend the model in many ways:
• Ngram model of words
• Phrases: proper names, collocations
• Because we use a formal generative model, we know how to incorporate any effect we want.
• E.g., probability of features of top-5 documents given some document is relevant
How to Set the Threshold
• For filtering, we are required to make a hard decision of whether to accept the document, rather than just rank the documents.
• Problems:
• The score for a particular document depends on many factors that are not important for the decision
• Length of document
• Percentage of low-likelihood words
• The range of scores depends on the particular topic.
• Would like to map the score for any document and topic into a real posterior probability
Score Normalization Techniques
• By using the relative score for two models, we remove some of the variance due to the particular document.
• We can normalize for the peculiarities of the topic by computing the distribution of scores for Off-Topic documents.
• Advantages of using Off-Topic documents:
• We have a very large number of documents
• We can fix the probability of false alarms
The Bottom Line
• For TDT tracking, the probabilistic approach to modeling the document and to score normalization results in better performance, whether for mono-language, cross-language, speech recognition output, etc.
• Large improvement will come after multiple sites start using similar techniques.
Grand Challenges
• Tested in TDT
• Operating with small amounts of training data for each category
• 1 to 4 documents per event
• Robustness to changes over time
• Multi-lingual domains
• How to set threshold for filtering
• Using model of ‘eventness’
• Large hierarchical category sets
• How to use the structure
• Effective use of prior knowledge
• Predicting performance and characterizing classes
• Need a task where both the discriminative and the LM approach will be tested.
What do you really want?
• If a user provides a document about the 9/11 World Trade Center crash and says they want “more like this”, do they want documents about:
• Airplane crashes
• Terrorism
• Building fires
• Injuries and Death
• Some combination of the above
• In general, we need a way to clarify which combination of topics the user wants