TREC-7 Evaluation of Conceptual Interlingua Document Retrieval (CINDOR) in English and French

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Text Retrieval Conference


E.M. Voorhees and D.K. Harman

Publication Date



TextWise LLC. participated in the TREC-7 Cross-Language Retrieval track using the CINDOR system, which utilizes a “conceptual interlingua” representation of documents and queries. The current CINDOR research system uses a conceptual interlingua constructed around the Princeton WordNet, which we are mapping into French and Spanish. The use of an interlingual representation of documents and queries allows us to perform retrieval on any combination of supported languages, rather than having to rely on pairwise translations, while the use of a resource like WordNet allows us to match equivalent terms (including synonyms) across languages. Although the analysis of our TREC-7 results is clouded somewhat by the kinds of system errors which inevitably occur in a first-time evaluation over large TREC corpora, our evaluation of the conceptual interlingua approach suggests that it provides highly effective cross-language retrieval performance. In particular, we notice that the CINDOR system achieves cross-language retrieval results equivalent in many cases to corresponding monolingual queries, without the loss in retrieval precision observed in many other approaches to cross-language retrieval. Future work on the CINDOR system, which was evaluated here in its research prototype form, will focus on improving further the coverage of our conceptual interlingua resources and the efficiency of our document processing modules. We are also investigating the construction of an interlingual resource of proper nouns, using technology from other TextWise products, since proper nouns constitute the largest category of ‘out-of-vocabulary’ terms with respect to our current conceptual interlingua knowledge base. We will also continue to adapt the CINDOR system to handle more languages.


Paper originally appears in the Proceedings of the Seventh Text Retrieval Conference (TREC-7). Full text available through remote link. Must click on corresponding publication.