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datePast Year
authorDaniel Tunkelang
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Bags of Queries as Sparse Document Representations
From The Noisy Channel

Bags of Queries as Sparse Document Representations

There is a duality between search queries and indexed documents: we can model a query as a bag of documents and a document as a bag of queries. This duality offers...

Is Targeted Advertising Ethical
From The Noisy Channel

Is Targeted Advertising Ethical

Is Targeted Advertising Ethical?Targeted advertising is a huge industry with a massive branding problem. On one hand, nearly all of the “free” digital productspromoted...

Is Targeting Advertising Ethical?
From The Noisy Channel

Is Targeting Advertising Ethical?

Is Targeted Advertising Ethical?Targeted advertising is a huge industry with a massive branding problem. On one hand, nearly all of the “free” digital productspromoted...

Ranking vs. Relevance: 2 Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them
From The Noisy Channel

Ranking vs. Relevance: 2 Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

A crucial distinction for search applications is the difference between ranking and relevance. In this post, I explain what happens when search applications fail...

Sparse and Dense Representations
From The Noisy Channel

Sparse and Dense Representations

The heart of the AI-powered search revolution is the move from sparse bag-of-words representations to dense embedding-based representations. But reducing everything...

AI-Powered Search: Embedding-Based Retrieval and Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG)
From The Noisy Channel

AI-Powered Search: Embedding-Based Retrieval and Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG)

When search application developers consider replacing a traditional search architecture with AI-powered search, they usually have two things in mind. The firstbag...

Analyzing the AI Search Opportunity
From The Noisy Channel

Analyzing the AI Search Opportunity

In the past several years, AI has disrupted every part of the technology industry. Search applications are no exception: it is not a question of whether to useinverted...

Learn to Rank = Learn to be Humble
From The Noisy Channel

Learn to Rank = Learn to be Humble

As a search consultant, I work with lots of organizations that strive to improve their search applications. I tend to emphasize query understanding and contentlearning...

Hierarchy is Hard!
From The Noisy Channel

Hierarchy is Hard!

A fundamental concept in language understanding is that of semantic hierarchy. In linguistics, a hyponym is a more specific or subordinate word, while a hypernym...

An Update on Search Classes
From The Noisy Channel

An Update on Search Classes

In 2022, Grant Ingersoll and I launched our first four-week Search with Machine Learning class on Uplimit, then called Corise. I still have a special place in my...

Making Sense of Null and Low Results
From The Noisy Channel

Making Sense of Null and Low Results

With rare exception, searchers are unhappy when a search query returns zero results. Businesses — especially ecommerce businesses trying to sell products to searchers...

Precision, Recall, and Desirability
From The Noisy Channel

Precision, Recall, and Desirability

Recent developments in AI have created opportunities across the search stack. But before building solutions, it is important to clearly identify the problems they...

Retroactive Loss of Privacy
From The Noisy Channel

Retroactive Loss of Privacy

We live in an age where we increasingly feel a loss of privacy. Much of our communication, media consumption, and shopping is mediated through platforms that track...

Random Thoughts on Interestingness
From The Noisy Channel

Random Thoughts on Interestingness

As a computer scientist and an information scientist, I have always been fascinated by fundamental questions of computational complexity and compressibility. These...

Query Specificity
From The Noisy Channel

Query Specificity

The central challenge of query understanding is mapping a query to a representation of the searcher’s intent. Recognizing when two or more different search queries...

Query Understanding and Ecommerce
From The Noisy Channel

Query Understanding and Ecommerce

Yesterday, I had the privilege to deliver a “last lecture” at eBay, where I have been working with the query science team for nearly 6 years. I took the opportunity...

Indexing by Intent
From The Noisy Channel

Indexing by Intent

Search developers mostly focus on mapping queries to results. This perspective is natural, insofar as search starts with the user formulating a query and (hopefully)...

Using Retrievability to Measure Recall
From The Noisy Channel

Using Retrievability to Measure Recall

In court, witnesses swear to tell “the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Search engines are not under oath, but they should be truthful.Two metrics for search...

Search vs. Browse
From The Noisy Channel

Search vs. Browse

One of the oldest distinctions in information access is between searching and browsing. Does a user initiate an information-seeking journey by typing keywords into...

When Machine Learning Hits A Wall
From The Noisy Channel

When Machine Learning Hits A Wall

Machine learning (or AI if you prefer) is amazing. I cannot think of another area of computer science — or of technology in general — that has been more influential...
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