A commonly used strategy to improve search accuracy is through feedback techniques. Most existing work on feedback relies on positive information, and has been extensively studied in information retrieval. However, when a query topic is difficult and the results from the first-pass retrieval are very poor, it is impossible to extract enough useful terms from a few positive documents. Therefore, the positive feedback strategy is incapable to improve retrieval in this situation. Contrarily, there is a relatively large number of negative documents in the top of the result list, and it has been confirmed that negative feedback strategy is an important and useful way for adapting this scenario by several recent studies. In this paper, we consider a scenario when the search results are so poor that there are at most three relevant documents in the top twenty documents. Then, we conduct a novel study of multiple strategies for relevance feedback using both positive and negative examples from the first-pass retrieval to improve retrieval accuracy for such difficult queries. Experimental results on these TREC collections show that the proposed language model based multiple model feedback method which is generally more effective than both the baseline method and the methods using only positive or negative model.
Ma, Y., & Lin, H. (2014). A multiple relevance feedback strategy with positive and negative models. PLoS ONE, 9(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0104707