Journal article

Query-Driven Indexing for Scalable Peer-to-Peer Text Retrieval

In this paper, we present a query-driven indexing/retrieval strategy for efficient full text retrieval from large document collections distributed within a structured P2P network. Our indexing strategy is based on two important properties: (1) the generated distributed index stores posting lists for carefully chosen indexing term combinations that are frequently present in user queries, and (2) the posting lists containing too many document references are truncated to a bounded number of their top-ranked elements. These two properties guarantee acceptable latency and bandwidth requirements, essentially because the number of indexing term combinations remains scalable and the posting lists transmitted during retrieval never exceed a constant size. A novel index update mechanism efficiently handles adding of new documents to the document collection. Thus, the generated distributed index corresponds to a constantly evolving query-driven indexing structure that efficiently follows current information needs of the users and changes in the document collection. We show that the size of the index and the generated indexing/retrieval traffic remains manageable even for Web-size document collections at the price of a marginal loss in precision for rare queries. Our theoretical analysis and experimental results provide convincing evidence about the feasibility of the query-driven indexing strategy for large scale P2P text retrieval.


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