Automatic Reformulation of Children’s Search Queries

Maarten van Kalsbeek, Joost de Wit, Dolf Trieschnigg, Paul van der Vet, Theo Huibers and Djoerd Hiemstra

The number of children that have access to an Internet connection (at home or at school) is large and growing fast. Many of these children search the web by using a search engine. These search engines do not consider their skills and preferences however, which makes searching difficult. This paper tries to uncover methods and techniques that can be used to automatically improve search results on queries formulated by children. In order to achieve this, a prototype of a query expander is built that implements several of these techniques. The paper concludes with an evaluation of the prototype and a discussion of the promising results.

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