Information retrieval using probabilistic techniques has attracted significant attention on the part of researchers in information and computer science over the past few decades. In the 1980s, knowledge-based techniques also made an impressive contribution to "intelligent" information retrieval and indexing. More recently, information science researchers have turned to other newer inductive learning techniques including symbolic learning, genetic algorithms, and simulated annealing. These newer techniques, which are grounded in diverse paradigms, have provided great opportunities for researchers to enhance the information processing and retrieval capabilities of current information systems. In this article, we first provide an overview of these newer techniques and their use in information retrieval research. In order to familiarize readers with the techniques, we present three promising methods: The symbolic ID3 algorithm, evolution-based genetic algorithms, and simulated annealing. We discuss their knowledge representations and algorithms in the unique context of information retrieval. An experiment using a 8000-record COMPEN database was performed to examine the performances of these inductive query-by-example techniques in comparison with the performance of the conventional relevance feedback method. The machine learning techniques were shown to be able to help identify new documents which are similar to documents initially suggested by users, and documents which contain similar concepts to each other. Genetic algorithms, in particular, were found to out-perform relevance feedback in both document recall and precision. We believe these inductive machine learning techniques hold promise for the ability to analyze users' preferred documents (or records), identify users' underlying information needs, and also suggest alternatives for search for database management systems and Internet applications.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Information Science|
|State||Published - 1998|
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