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Similarity-Sensitive Diversity
From The Noisy Channel

Similarity-Sensitive Diversity

In my work on search engines and recommender systems, I’ve thought a lot about entropy and diversity. I named my first blog, The Noisy Channel, after a seminalClaude...

Content Quality
From The Noisy Channel

Content Quality

Despite its importance, content quality is hard to define without devolving into circularity. What we mean by content quality is a measure or collection of measures...

Content Structure
From The Noisy Channel

Content Structure

One of the challenges facing search applications is that users aren’t necessarily searching for documents. To put it another way, the unit of content that a user...

Search is Fundamental
From The Noisy Channel

Search is Fundamental

Search engines are at the heart of the digital world. We interact with them on the outside, using search engines to find information, products, and more. But they...

Search: Teaching the Fundamentals
From The Noisy Channel

Search: Teaching the Fundamentals

Earlier this year, Grant Ingersoll and I kicked off a 4-week co:rise course on Search with Machine Learning. We covered search fundamentals, and then went on to...

Content Similarity
From The Noisy Channel

Content Similarity

Content classification and annotation offer useful approaches for content understanding, recognizing whether a piece of content is about a particular topic or mentions...

Content Annotation
From The Noisy Channel

Content Annotation

Content understanding requires both holistic and reductionist approaches, just like query understanding. The previous post focused on content classification asentity...

Content Classification
From The Noisy Channel

Content Classification

The most fundamental form of holistic content understanding is classification. Content classification maps a piece of content — that is, an entry in the searchtaxonomy...

What is Content Understanding?
From The Noisy Channel

What is Content Understanding?

There’s a lot of writing about search — especially about ranking and relevance. And recently there’s been an increased focus on the particular challenges of query...

Thoughts on Search Result Diversity
From The Noisy Channel

Thoughts on Search Result Diversity

Regular readers know that search is about much more than ranking. If you’re new here, you might want to read this post about ranking vs. relevance.But a topic I...

Balance Your Search Budget!
From The Noisy Channel

Balance Your Search Budget!

Search can be computationally intensive. Indeed, search has been the driving force behind many advances in computational efficiency, from MapReduce for distributed...

On Search Leadership
From The Noisy Channel

On Search Leadership

As a high-class consultant, I don’t just talk to companies about the technical aspects of search. I also help them them address organizational challenges.For example...

The Free Advice Club
From The Noisy Channel

The Free Advice Club

The first rule of the Free Advice Club is: you talk about the Free Advice Club! Not like that other club.But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve had an extremelyMedium...

Using AI to Understand Search Intent
From The Noisy Channel

Using AI to Understand Search Intent

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post advocating the use of AI for query understanding. I argued that holistic query understanding with embeddings and deep learning...

The Eternal Quest for Meaning
From The Noisy Channel

The Eternal Quest for Meaning

In 1668, John Wilkins published An Essay Towards a Real Character, and a Philosophical Language. In it, he proposed a universal language that would represent every...

Ranking vs. Relevance
From The Noisy Channel

Ranking vs. Relevance

Most folks who work on search worry about relevance. But it’s surprisingly difficult to find a useful definition of relevance.Defining RelevanceMerriam-Webster ...

Putting Search Ranking in Perspective
From The Noisy Channel

Putting Search Ranking in Perspective

For feeds and recommendations, ranking is critical. All the inputs are implicit, so machine-learned ranking is the only practical way to optimize engagement.Search...

New Choice
From The Noisy Channel

New Choice

In improv, there’s a fun game called “new choice”. At any point during the improvised scene, the host can call for a “new choice”. The player who last spoke has...

AI for Query Understanding
From The Noisy Channel

AI for Query Understanding

In the past decade, the incredible progress in word embeddings and deep learning has fueled an interest in neural information retrieval. An increasing number of...

Query Understanding
From The Noisy Channel

Query Understanding

This publication is a series of posts devoted to query understanding. Each post is self-contained, but there is a natural progression. If you’d like to read them...
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