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October 29 , 2010

Faceted Search


We live in an information age that requires us, more than ever, to represent, access, and use information. Over the last several decades, we have developed a modern science and technology for information retrieval, relentlessly pursuing the vision of a "memex" that Vannevar Bush proposed in his seminal article, "As We May Think."Faceted search plays a key role in this program. Faceted search addresses weaknesses of conventional search approaches and has emerged as a foundation for interactive information retrieval. User studies demonstrate that faceted search provides more effective information-seeking support to users than best-first search. Indeed, faceted search has become increasingly prevalent in online information access systems, particularly for e-commerce and site search.In this lecture, we explore the history, theory, and practice of faceted search. Although we cannot hope to be exhaustive, our aim is to provide sufficient depth and breadth to offer a useful resource to both researchers and practitioners. Because faceted search is an area of interest to computer scientists, information scientists, interface designers, and usability researchers, we do not assume that the reader is a specialist in any of these fields. Rather, we offer a self-contained treatment of the topic, with an extensive bibliography for those who would like to pursue particular aspects in more depth.Table of Contents: I. Key Concepts / Introduction: What Are Facets? / Information Retrieval / Faceted Information Retrieval / II. Research and Practice / Academic Research / Commercial Applications / III. Practical Concerns / Back-End Concerns / Front-End Concerns / Conclusion / Glossary
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