Rianne Kaptein defends PhD thesis on Focused Retrieval

Effective Focused Retrieval by Exploiting Query Context and Document Structure

by Rianne Kaptein

The classic IR (Information Retrieval) model of the search process consists of three elements: query, documents and search results. A user looking to fulfill an information need formulates a query usually consisting of a small set of keywords summarizing the information need. The goal of an IR system is to retrieve documents containing information which might be useful or relevant to the user. Throughout the search process there is a loss of focus, because keyword queries entered by users often do not suitably summarize their complex information needs, and IR systems do not sufficiently interpret the contents of documents, leading to result lists containing irrelevant and redundant information. The main research question of this thesis is to exploit query context and document structure to provide for more focused retrieval.

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