Information Storage and Retrieval Systems: Theory and Implementation
Chapter 1 places into perspective a total Information Storage and Retrieval System. This perspective introduces new challenges to the problems that need to be theoretically addressed and commercially implemented. Ten years ago commercial implementation of the algorithms being developed was not realistic, allowing theoreticians to limit their focus to very specific areas. Bounding a problem is still essential in deriving theoretical results. But the commercialization and insertion of this technology into systems like the Internet that are widely being used changes the way problems are bounded. From a theoretical perspective, efficient scalability of algorithms to systems with gigabytes and terabytes of data, operating with minimal user search statement information, and making maximum use of all functional aspects of an information system need to be considered. The dissemination systems using persistent indexes or mail files to modify ranking algorithms and combining the search of structured information fields and free text into a consolidated weighted output are examples of potential new areas of investigation. The best way for the theoretician or the commercial developer to understand the importance of problems to be solved is to place them in the context of a total vision of a complete system. Understanding the differences between Digital Libraries and Information Retrieval Systems will add an additional dimension to the potential future development of systems. The collaborative aspects of digital libraries can be viewed as a new source of information that dynamically could interact with information retrieval techniques.