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Enterprise Information Access and the User Experience

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2 Author(s)
Knabe, F. ; ENDECA, Cambridge, MA ; Tunkelang, D.

Today, digitally stored information isn't only ubiquitous, it's also increasing in volume at an exponential rate. And not only is the volume increasing, but so is the variety, as well as the ways of combining information from different sources to derive insights. Not surprisingly, our most pressing technological and business problem is finding what we need in this sea of information. The dominant paradigm for addressing this problem is information retrieval (Modem Information Retrieval, Ricardo Baeza-Yates and Berthier Ribeiro-Neto, ACM Press, 1999). In this paradigm, the user enters a query (typically a few words typed into a search box), and the system retrieves documents matching the query, ranking the matches based on an estimate of their relevancy to the query. If the system finds many matches, the user sees only the highest-ranked matches. The popularity of Web search systems such as Google shows that the information retrieval paradigm can be effective. An information access framework empowers users by explicitly focusing on the interaction between users and the system. The key problem for information access systems isn't guessing which matching document is most relevant, but establishing a dialogue in which users progressively communicate their information goals while the system provides immediate, incremental feedback that guides users in the pursuit of those goals

Published in:

IT Professional  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 1 )