Effective Search in Online Knowledge Communities: A Genetic Algorithm Approach


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


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.



Online Knowledge Community, Social Network, Genetic Algorithm, Information System, Information Retrieval, Knowledge Adoption Model