Click models inspired learning to rank

Publication Name

International Journal of Web Information Systems


Purpose: Incorporating users’ behavior patterns could help in the ranking process. Different click models (CMs) are introduced to model the sophisticated search-time behavior of users among which commonly used the triple of attractiveness, examination and satisfaction. Inspired by this fact and considering the psychological definitions of these concepts, this paper aims to propose a novel learning to rank by redefining these concepts. The attractiveness and examination factors could be calculated using a limited subset of information retrieval (IR) features by the random forest algorithm, and then they are combined with each other to predicate the satisfaction factor which is considered as the relevance level. Design/methodology/approach: The attractiveness and examination factors of a given document are usually considered as its perceived relevance and the fast scan of its snippet, respectively. Here, attractiveness and examination factors are regarded as the click-count and the investigation rate, respectively. Also, the satisfaction of a document is supposed to be the same as its relevance level for a given query. This idea is supported by the strong correlation between attractiveness-satisfaction and the examination-satisfaction. Applying random forest algorithm, the attractiveness and examination factors are calculated using a very limited set of the primitive features of query-document pairs. Then, by using the ordered weighted averaging operator, these factors are aggregated to estimate the satisfaction. Findings: Experimental results on MSLR-WEB10K and WCL2R data sets show the superiority of this algorithm over the state-of-the-art ranking algorithms in terms of P@n and NDCG criteria. The enhancement is more noticeable in top-ranked items which are reviewed more by the users. Originality/value: This paper proposes a novel learning to rank based on the redefinition of major building blocks of the CMs which are the attractiveness, examination and satisfactory. It proposes a method to use a very limited number of selected IR features to estimate the attractiveness and examination factors and then combines these factors to predicate the satisfactory which is regarded as the relevance level of a document with respect to a given query.

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