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Topical classification of web queries aids in the efficient retrieval of information and in profitable online advertising. In this paper, four-tier architecture is proposed for the automatic classification of web queries into topical categories; directory knowledge and query log generate the feature set for further processing, a glossary based classifier to produce an unordered set of pre-defined topical categories, a HMM to incorporate returned search results and prior knowledge of the user into the architecture and estimates the maximum likelihood of a sequence of topical categories using the Viterbi decoding algorithm.
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