by Henning Rode, Pavel Serdyukov, Djoerd Hiemstra, and Hugo Zaragoza
Todays web search engines try to offer services for finding various information in addition to simple web pages, like showing locations or answering simple fact queries. Understanding the association of named entities and documents is one of the key steps towards such semantic search tasks. This paper addresses the ranking of entities and models it in a graph-based relevance propagation framework. In particular we study the problem of expert finding as an example of an entity ranking task. Entity containment graphs are introduced that represent the relationship between text fragments on the one hand and their contained entities on the other hand. The paper shows how these graphs can be used to propagate relevance information from the pre-ranked text fragments to their entities. We use this propagation framework to model existing approaches to expert finding based on the entity's indegree and extend them by recursive relevance propagation based on a probabilistic random walk over the entity containment graphs. Experiments on the TREC expert search task compare the retrieval performance of the different graph and propagation models.