Microsoft looks to "third dimension" to improve search results

At a presentation at the 2006 SIGIR conference, Microsoft scientists said that new and additional techniques for analyzing search click-through patterns and browsing behaviors can enhance the search results delivered by a search engine.

"Most search engines today use a somewhat two-dimensional approach, matching user queries with the content and link structure of Web pages to return a list of results," said Eugene Agichtein, a researcher in the text mining, search and navigation Group within Microsoft Research. "We're looking at how to add a third dimension - the users themselves - to improve the search experience." Agichtein claims that an examination click-through and browsing patterns across a large number of users reveals how people interact with search technologies and provides information on how to enhance search result accuracy.

Microsoft said that its search engine research focuses on topics such as feedback relevance, cross-language retrieval, query analysis and classification, summarization, personalization, graph structure analysis, and the development of new machine learning algorithms for search.