Query or Document Translation for Academic Search - What's the real Difference?

Vivien Petras, Andreas Lüschow, Juliane Stiller, Roland Ramthun, Cristina España-Bonet, Sophie Henning

In: Proceedings Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum. Conference and Labs of the Evaluation Forum (CLEF-2020) September 22-25 Thessaloniki Greece Springer 9/2020.


We compare query and document translation from and to English, French, German and Spanish for multilingual retrieval in an academic search portal: PubPsych. Both query and document translation improve the retrieval performance of the system with document translation providing better results. We show how performance inversely correlates with the amount of available original language documents. The more documents already available in a language, the fewer improvements can be observed. Retrieval performance with English as a source language does not improve with translation as most documents already contained English-language content in our text collection. The large-scale evaluation study is based on a corpus of more than 1 M metadata documents and 50 real queries in English, French, German and Spanish taken from the query log files of the portal.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence