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In this paper, we extend the work of Kraft et al. to present a new method for fuzzy information retrieval based on fuzzy hierarchical clustering and fuzzy inference techniques. First, we present a fuzzy agglomerative hierarchical clustering algorithm for clustering documents and to get the document cluster centers of document clusters. Then, we present a method to construct fuzzy logic rules based on the document clusters and their document cluster centers. Finally, we apply the constructed fuzzy logic rules to modify the user's query for query expansion and to guide the information retrieval system to retrieve documents relevant to the user's request. The fuzzy logic rules can represent three kinds of fuzzy relationships (i.e., fuzzy positive association relationship, fuzzy specialization relationship and fuzzy generalization relationship) between index terms. The proposed fuzzy information retrieval method is more flexible and more intelligent than the existing methods due to the fact that it can expand users' queries for fuzzy information retrieval in a more effective manner.
Date of Publication: April 2005