Title page for ETD etd-09142009-135014

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Zhang, Xiaoyu
Author's Email Address zhangx06@vt.edu
URN etd-09142009-135014
Title Effective Search in Online Knowledge Communities: A Genetic Algorithm Approach
Degree Master of Science
Department Computer Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Fan, Weiguo Patrick Committee Chair
Marathe, Madhav V. Committee Member
Wang, G. Alan Committee Member
  • Online Knowledge Community
  • Social Network
  • Genetic Algorithm
  • Information System
  • Information Retrieval
  • Knowledge Adoption Model
Date of Defense 2009-09-11
Availability unrestricted
Online Knowledge Communities, also known as online forum, are popular web-based tools that allow members to seek and share knowledge. Documents to answer varieties of questions are associated with the process of knowledge exchange. The social network of members in an Online Knowledge Community is an important factor to improve search precision. However, prior ranking functions don’t handle this kind of document with using this information. In this study, we try to resolve the problem of finding authoritative documents for a user query within an Online Knowledge Community. Unlike prior ranking functions which consider either content based feature, hyperlink based feature, or document structure based feature, we explored the Online Knowledge Community social network structure and members social interaction activities to design features that can gauge the two major factors affecting user knowledge adoption decision: argument quality and source credibility. We then design a customized Genetic Algorithm to adjust the weights for new features we proposed. We compared the performance of our ranking strategy with several others baselines on a real world data www.vbcity.com/forums/. The evaluation results demonstrated that our method could improve the user search satisfaction with an obviously percentage. At the end, we concluded that our approach based on knowledge adoption model and Genetic Algorithm is a better ranking strategy in the Online Knowledge Community.
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