In e-commerce applications product descriptions are often concise. E-Commerce search engines often have to deal with queries that cannot be easily matched to product inventory resulting in zero recall or null query situations.
Null queries arise from differences in buyer and seller vocabulary or from the transient nature of products. In this paper, we describe a system that rewrites null e-commerce queries to find matching products as close to the original query as possible.
The system uses query relaxation to rewrite null queries in order to match products. Using eBay as an example of a dynamic marketplace, we show how using temporal feedback that respects product category structure using the repository of expired products, we improve the quality of recommended results.
The system is scalable and can be run in a high volume setting. We show through our experiments that high quality product recommendations for more than 25% of null queries are achievable.