Relational retrieval using a combination of path-constrained random walks


Scientific literature with rich metadata can be represented as a labeled directed graph. This graph representation enables a number of scientific tasks such as ad hoc retrieval or named entity recognition (NER) to be formulated as typed proximity queries in the graph. One popular proximity measure is called Random Walk with Restart (RWR), and much work has been done on the supervised learning of RWR measures by associating each edge label with a parameter. In this paper, we describe a novel learnable proximity measure which instead uses one weight per edge label sequence: proximity is defined by a weighted combination of simple “path experts”, each corresponding to following a particular sequence of labeled edges. Experiments on eight tasks in two subdomains of biology show that the new learning method significantly outperforms the RWR model (both trained and untrained). We also extend the method to support two additional types of experts to model intrinsic properties of entities: query-independent experts, which generalize the PageRank measure, and popular entity experts which allow rankings to be adjusted for particular entities that are especially important.


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Correspondence to Ni Lao.

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Editors: José L Balcázar, Francesco Bonchi, Aristides Gionis, and Michèle Sebag.

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Lao, N., Cohen, W.W. Relational retrieval using a combination of path-constrained random walks. Mach Learn 81, 53–67 (2010).

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  • Entity relation graph
  • Random walk
  • Learning to rank
  • Relational model
  • Filtering and recommending