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Exploring manual and automatic query formulation in patent IR: Initial query construction and query generation process
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Documentation, ISSN 0022-0418, E-ISSN 1758-7379, Vol. 69, no 6, 873-898 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – This study aims to examine manually formulated queries and automatic query generation in an early phase of a patent “prior art” search.

Design/methodology/approach – The study was performed partly within a patent domain setting, involving three professional patent examiners, and partly in the context of the CLEF 2009 Intellectual Property (CLEF-IP) track. For the exploratory study of user-based query formulation, three patent examiners performed the same three simulated real-life patent tasks. For the automatic query generation, a simple term-weighting algorithm based on the RATF formula was used. The manually and automatically created queries were compared to analyse what kinds of keywords and from which parts of the patent documents were selected.

Findings – For user-formulated queries, it was found that patent documents were read in a specific order of importance and that the time varied. Annotations and collaboration were made while reading and selecting/ranking terms. Ranking terms was experienced to be harder than selecting terms. For the automatic formulated queries, it was found that the term frequencies used in the RATF alone will not quite approximate what terms will be judged as relevant query terms by the users. Simultaneously, the results suggest that developing a query generation tool for generating initial queries based on patent documents is feasible.

Research limitations/implications – These preliminary but informative results need to be viewed in the light that only three patent experts were observed and that a small set of topics was used.

Originality/value – It is usually difficult to get access to the setting of the patent domain and the results of the study show that the methodology provided a feasible way to study manual and the manual query formulation of the patent engineer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 69, no 6, 873-898 p.
Keyword [en]
Patent information retrieval, manual query formulation, automatic query generation, and relevance assessment.
National Category
Information Systems Other Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Man-Machine-Interaction (MMI)
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95600DOI: 10.1108/JD-12-2012-0166ISI: 000326315100008OAI: diva2:660908

AuthorCount: 3;

Available from: 2013-10-31 Created: 2013-10-31 Last updated: 2014-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Hansen, Preben
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