System and User Research
In Chap. 7, we saw that while information retrieval (IR) systems are widely used and perform important tasks for their intended audience, their ability to find relevant information and meet the needs of users is far from perfect. Even if one accepts the limitations of recall and precision as evaluation measures, it is clear that new approaches to indexing and retrieval are needed to better steer users to the documents they need. In this chapter, we will explore various research approaches to IR, focusing on two broad categories of research. The first focus will be on the IR system, looking at research that has focused on algorithms and approaches that improve retrieval of content. The second focus will be on the user and how systems can improve his or her retrieval or related task. We will then end with a review of user evaluation of research systems.
8.1 System-Oriented Research
In this section, we will explore research that has attempted to improve IR systems. While the user can...