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  • This paper reports on a novel technique for literature indexing and searching in a mechanized library system. The notion of relevance is taken as the key concept in the theory of information retrieval and a comparative concept of relevance is explicated in terms of the theory of probability. The resulting technique called “Probabilistic Indexing,” allows a computing machine, given a request for information, to make a statistical inference and derive a number (called the “relevance number”) for each document, which is a measure of the probability that the document will satisfy the given request. The result of a search is an ordered list of those documents which satisfy the request ranked according to their probable relevance. The paper goes on to show that whereas in a conventional library system the cross-referencing (“see” and “see also”) is based solely on the “semantical closeness” between index terms, statistical measures of closeness between index terms can be defined and computed. Thus, given an arbitrary request consisting of one (or many) index term(s), a machine can elaborate on it to increase the probability of selecting relevant documents that would not otherwise have been selected. Finally, the paper suggests an interpretation of the whole library problem as one where the request is considered as a clue on the basis of which the library system makes a concatenated statistical inference in order to provide as an output an ordered list of those documents which most probably satisfy the information needs of the user.

  • In a document retrieval, or other pattern matching environment where stored entities (documents) are compared with each other or with incoming patterns (search requests), it appears that the best indexing (property) space is one where each entity lies as far away from the others as possible; in these circumstances the value of an indexing system may be expressible as a function of the density of the object space; in particular, retrieval performance may correlate inversely with space density. An approach based on space density computations is used to choose an optimum indexing vocabulary for a collection of documents. Typical evaluation results are shown, demonstating the usefulness of the model.

  • The objectives of the study were to conduct a series of observations and experiments under as real-life situation as possible related to: (1) user context of questions in information retrieval; (2) the structure and classification of questions; (3) cognitive traits and decision making of searchers; and (4) diferent searches of the same question. The study is presented in three parts: Part I presents the background of the study and describes the models, measures, methods, procedures and statistical analyses used. Part II is devoted to results related to users, questions and effectiveness measures, and Part III to results related to searchers, searches and overlap studies. A concluding summary of all results is presented in Part III. © 1988 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  • The experimental evidence accumulated over the past 20 years indicates that text indexing systems based on the assignment of appropriately weighted single terms produce retrieval results that are superior to those obtainable with other more elaborate text representations. These results depend crucially on the choice of effective termweighting systems. This article summarizes the insights gained in automatic term weighting, and provides baseline single-term-indexing models with which other more elaborate content analysis procedures can be compared.

  • First, a new model of searching in online and other information systems, called ‘berrypicking’, is discussed. This model, it is argued, is much closer to the real behavior of information searchers than the traditional model of information retrieval is, and, consequently, will guide our thinking better in the design of effective interfaces. Second, the research literature of manual information seeking behavior is drawn on for suggestions of capabilities that users might like to have in online systems. Third, based on the new model and the research on information seeking, suggestions are made for how new search capabilities could be incorporated into the design of search interfaces. Particular attention is given to the nature and types of browsing that can be facilitated.

  • Relevance is a fundamental, though not completely understood, concept for documentation, information science, and information retrieval. This article presents the history of relevance through an exhaustive review of the literature. Such history being very complex (about 160 papers are discussed), it is not simple to describe it in a comprehensible way. Thus, first of all a framework for establishing a common ground is defined, and then the history itself is illustrated via the presentation in chronological order of the papers on relevance. The history is divided into three periods (“Before 1958,” “1959–1976,” and “1977–present”) and, inside each period, the papers on relevance are analyzed under seven different aspects (methodological foundations, different kinds of relevance, beyond-topical criteria adopted by users, modes for expression of the relevance judgment, dynamic nature of relevance, types of document representation, and agreement among different judges). © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  • This is a rigorous and complete textbook for a first course on information retrieval from the computer science perspective. It provides an up-to-date student oriented treatment of information retrieval including extensive coverage of new topics such as web retrieval, web crawling, open source search engines and user interfaces. From parsing to indexing, clustering to classification, retrieval to ranking, and user feedback to retrieval evaluation, all of the most important concepts are carefully introduced and exemplified. The contents and structure of the book have been carefully designed by the two main authors, with individual contributions coming from leading international authorities in the field, including Yoelle Maarek, Senior Director of Yahoo! Research Israel; Dulce Poncele´on IBM Research; and Malcolm Slaney, Yahoo Research USA. This completely reorganized, revised and enlarged second edition of Modern Information Retrieval contains many new chapters and double the number of pages and bibliographic references of the first edition, and a companion website www.mir2ed.org with teaching material. It will prove invaluable to students, professors, researchers, practitioners, and scholars of this fascinating field of information retrieval.

  • In this paper we present an analysis of an AltaVista Search Engine query log consisting of approximately 1 billion entries for search requests over a period of six weeks. This represents almost 285 million user sessions, each an attempt to fill a single information need. We present an analysis of individual queries, query duplication, and query sessions. We also present results of a correlation analysis of the log entries, studying the interaction of terms within queries. Our data supports the conjecture that web users differ significantly from the user assumed in the standard information retrieval literature. Specifically, we show that web users type in short queries, mostly look at the first 10 results only, and seldom modify the query. This suggests that traditional information retrieval techniques may not work well for answering web search requests. The correlation analysis showed that the most highly correlated items are constituents of phrases. This result indicates it may be useful for search engines to consider search terms as parts of phrases even if the user did not explicitly specify them as such.

  • We analyzed transaction logs containing 51,473 queries posed by 18,113 users of Excite, a major Internet search service. We provide data on: (i) sessions — changes in queries during a session, number of pages viewed, and use of relevance feedback; (ii) queries — the number of search terms, and the use of logic and modifiers; and (iii) terms — their rank/frequency distribution and the most highly used search terms. We then shift the focus of analysis from the query to the user to gain insight to the characteristics of the Web user. With these characteristics as a basis, we then conducted a failure analysis, identifying trends among user mistakes. We conclude with a summary of findings and a discussion of the implications of these findings.

  • In studying actual Web searching by the public at large, we analyzed over one million Web queries by users of the Excite search engine. We found that most people use few search terms, few modified queries, view few Web pages, and rarely use advanced search features. A small number of search terms are used with high frequency, and a great many terms are unique; the language of Web queries is distinctive. Queries about recreation and entertainment rank highest. Findings are compared to data from two other large studies of Web queries. This study provides an insight into the public practices and choices in Web searching.

  • One of the most pressing usability issues in the design of large web sites is that of the organization of search results. A previous study on a moderate-sized web site indicated that users understood and preferred dynamically organized faceted metadata over standard search. We are now examining how to scale this approach to very large collections, since it is difficult to present hierarchical faceted metadata in a manner appealing and understandable to general users. We have iteratively designed and tested interfaces that address these design challenges; the most recent version is receiving enthusiastic responses in ongoing usability studies.

  • This paper presents an approach to automatically optimizing the retrieval quality of search engines using clickthrough data. Intuitively, a good information retrieval system should present relevant documents high in the ranking, with less relevant documents following below. While previous approaches to learning retrieval functions from examples exist, they typically require training data generated from relevance judgments by experts. This makes them difficult and expensive to apply. The goal of this paper is to develop a method that utilizes clickthrough data for training, namely the query-log of the search engine in connection with the log of links the users clicked on in the presented ranking. Such clickthrough data is available in abundance and can be recorded at very low cost. Taking a Support Vector Machine (SVM) approach, this paper presents a method for learning retrieval functions. From a theoretical perspective, this method is shown to be well-founded in a risk minimization framework. Furthermore, it is shown to be feasible even for large sets of queries and features. The theoretical results are verified in a controlled experiment. It shows that the method can effectively adapt the retrieval function of a meta-search engine to a particular group of users, outperforming Google in terms of retrieval quality after only a couple of hundred training examples.

  • Classic IR (information retrieval) is inherently predicated on users searching for information, the so-called "information need". But the need behind a web search is often not informational -- it might be navigational (give me the url of the site I want to reach) or transactional (show me sites where I can perform a certain transaction, e.g. shop, download a file, or find a map). We explore this taxonomy of web searches and discuss how global search engines evolved to deal with web-specific needs.

  • Designing a search system and interface may best be served (and executed) by scrutinizing usability studies.

  • There are currently two dominant interface types for searching and browsing large image collections: keyword-based search, and searching by overall similarity to sample images. We present an alternative based on enabling users to navigate along conceptual dimensions that describe the images. The interface makes use of hierarchical faceted metadata and dynamically generated query previews. A usability study, in which 32 art history students explored a collection of 35,000 fine arts images, compares this approach to a standard image search interface. Despite the unfamiliarity and power of the interface (attributes that often lead to rejection of new search interfaces), the study results show that 90% of the participants preferred the metadata approach overall, 97% said that it helped them learn more about the collection, 75% found it more flexible, and 72% found it easier to use than a standard baseline system. These results indicate that a category-based approach is a successful way to provide access to image collections.

  • This paper examines the reliability of implicit feedback generated from clickthrough data in WWW search. Analyzing the users' decision process using eyetracking and comparing implicit feedback against manual relevance judgments, we conclude that clicks are informative but biased. While this makes the interpretation of clicks as absolute relevance judgments difficult, we show that relative preferences derived from clicks are reasonably accurate on average.

  • Of growing interest in the area of improving the search experience is the collection of implicit user behavior measures (implicit measures) as indications of user interest and user satisfaction. Rather than having to submit explicit user feedback, which can be costly in time and resources and alter the pattern of use within the search experience, some research has explored the collection of implicit measures as an efficient and useful alternative to collecting explicit measure of interest from users.This research article describes a recent study with two main objectives. The first was to test whether there is an association between explicit ratings of user satisfaction and implicit measures of user interest. The second was to understand what implicit measures were most strongly associated with user satisfaction. The domain of interest was Web search. We developed an instrumented browser to collect a variety of measures of user activity and also to ask for explicit judgments of the relevance of individual pages visited and entire search sessions. The data was collected in a workplace setting to improve the generalizability of the results.Results were analyzed using traditional methods (e.g., Bayesian modeling and decision trees) as well as a new usage behavior pattern analysis (“gene analysis”). We found that there was an association between implicit measures of user activity and the user's explicit satisfaction ratings. The best models for individual pages combined clickthrough, time spent on the search result page, and how a user exited a result or ended a search session (exit type/end action). Behavioral patterns (through the gene analysis) can also be used to predict user satisfaction for search sessions.

  • We show that incorporating user behavior data can significantly improve ordering of top results in real web search setting. We examine alternatives for incorporating feedback into the ranking process and explore the contributions of user feedback compared to other common web search features. We report results of a large scale evaluation over 3,000 queries and 12 million user interactions with a popular web search engine. We show that incorporating implicit feedback can augment other features, improving the accuracy of a competitive web search ranking algorithms by as much as 31% relative to the original performance.

  • Purpose – The aim of this article is to estimate the impact of faceted classification and the faceted analytical method on the development of various information retrieval tools over the latter part of the twentieth and early twenty‐first centuries. Design/methodology/approach – The article presents an examination of various subject access tools intended for retrieval of both print and digital materials to determine whether they exhibit features of faceted systems. Some attention is paid to use of the faceted approach as a means of structuring information on commercial web sites. The secondary and research literature is also surveyed for commentary on and evaluation of facet analysis as a basis for the building of vocabulary and conceptual tools. Findings – The study finds that faceted systems are now very common, with a major increase in their use over the last 15 years. Most LIS subject indexing tools (classifications, subject heading lists and thesauri) now demonstrate features of facet analysis to a greater or lesser degree. A faceted approach is frequently taken to the presentation of product information on commercial web sites, and there is an independent strand of theory and documentation related to this application. There is some significant research on semi‐automatic indexing and retrieval (query expansion and query formulation) using facet analytical techniques. Originality/value – This article provides an overview of an important conceptual approach to information retrieval, and compares different understandings and applications of this methodology.

Last update from database: 2021-10-27, 1:42 a.m. (EST)