Techniques for improving efficiency and scalability for the integration of information retrieval and databases
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This thesis is on the topic of integration of Information Retrieval (IR) and Databases (DB), with particular focuses on improving efficiency and scalability of integrated IR and DB technology (IR+DB). The main purpose of this study is to develop efficient and scalable techniques for supporting integrated IR and DB technology, which is a popular approach today for handling complex queries over text and structured data. Our specific interest in this thesis is how to efficiently handle queries over large-scale text and structured data. The work is based on a technology that integrates probability theory and relational algebra, where retrievals for text and data are to be expressed in probabilistic logical programs such as probabilistic relational algebra or probabilistic Datalog. To support efficient processing of probabilistic logical programs, we proposed three optimization techniques that focus on aspects covered logical and physical layers, which include: scoring-driven query optimization using scoring expression, query processing with top-k incorporated pipeline, and indexing with relational inverted index. Specifically, scoring expressions are proposed for expressing the scoring or probabilistic semantics of implied scoring functions of PRA expressions, so that efficient query execution plan can be generated by rule-based scoring-driven optimizer. Secondly, to balance efficiency and effectiveness so that to improve query response time, we studied methods for incorporating topk algorithms into pipelined query execution engine for IR+DB systems. Thirdly, the proposed relational inverted index integrates IR-style inverted index and DB-style tuple-based index, which can be used to support efficient probability estimation and aggregation as well as conventional relational operations. Experiments were carried out to investigate the performances of proposed techniques. Experimental results showed that the efficiency and scalability of an IR+DB prototype have been improved, while the system can handle queries efficiently on considerable large data sets for a number of IR tasks.
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