Question Waves: A multicast query routing algorithm for social search

This paper describes Question Waves, an algorithm that can be applied to social search protocols, such as Asknext or Sixearch. In this model, the queries are propagated through the social network, with faster propagation through more trustable acquaintances. Question Waves uses local information to make decisions and obtain an answer ranking. With Question Waves, the answers that arrive first are the most likely to be relevant, and we computed the correlation of answer relevance with the order of arrival to demonstrate this result. We obtained correlations equivalent to the heuristics that use global knowledge, such as profile similarity among users or the expertise value of an agent. Because Question Waves is compatible with the social search protocol Asknext, it is possible to stop a search when enough relevant answers have been found; additionally, stopping the search early only introduces a minimal risk of not obtaining the best possible answer. Furthermore, Question Waves does not require a re-ranking algorithm because the results arrive sorted ​
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