Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reaction: TileBars: visualization of term distribution information in full text information access.

It is impressive to see that the paper was written in mid 1990s and the concepts that discussed are still used till date. I find a strong connection that relates the ideas in the paper to the search engines which we use today. I however do not see the due importance which has to be given to the weightage of the search terms which resulted in the search results that are displayed. This definitely helps the user to improve his search terms so that the results can be altered correspondingly. The author clearly states the papers objective which is to make use of text structure when retrieving from full length text documents.

I like the way the paper has been written, especially the numerous examples given as a supplement to each subtopic which aids the reader to improve his understanding. TileBars is I feel more than just a tool, it lays the basis for search engines by describing what are the key points which are to be kept in mind when performing a search. However I am strongly inclined to say that these ideas do not represent the whole, they are just a part of a larger set. For example we should also keep in mind the users previous search results for a particular term because the user would like to see the links that he has visited in the past when doing the same search in the future. This should also play an important role while ranking the search results.

I also liked the fact that the authors have thought about clustering the search results from two different tools. This is preceded by an acknowledgement to the fact that information access mechanisms should not be visualized in isolation but rather they have to be weaved together.

There is no hesitation in saying that the paper presents valuable research which played in important role in the design of early search engines. I also read one of the reference papers titled "Automatic text processing", which is a good read too.