Learning Keyword Phrases from Query Logs of USPTO Patent Examiners for Automatic Query Scope Limitation in Patent searching


Abstract:


Professional search in patent repositories poses several unique challenges. One key requirement is to search the entire affected space of concepts, following well-defined procedures to ensure traceability of results obtained. Several techniques have been introduced to enhance query generation, preferably via automated query term expansion, to improve retrieval effectiveness. Currently, these approaches are mostly limited to computing additional query terms from patent documents based on statistical measures. For conceptual search to solve the limitation of traditional keyword search standard dictionaries are used to provide synonyms and keyword phrases for query refinement. Studies show that these are insufficient in such highly specialized domains. In this paper, we present an approach to extract keyword phrases from query logs created during the validation procedure of the patent applications. This creates valuable domain-specific lexical databases for several specific patent classes that can be used to both expand as well as limit the scope of a patent search. This provides a more powerful means to guide a professional searcher through the search process. We evaluate the lexical databases based on real query sessions of patent examiners.