An analysis of online searching knowledge for intermediary systems

Eero Sormunen

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The report summarises the main results of theoretical and empirical studies concerning information retrieval expertise, lists some pragmatic outlinings of searching heuristics, and introduces an experiment with a knowledge base for search profile analysis. The background for the work is illustrated by characterising the properties of information retrieval systems based on Boolean logic and describing the tasks of a standard search process. Definitions are given for basic concepts dealing with expertise and knowledge. The summary of theoretical and empirical studies includes mainly the results achieved in cognitive science (Belkin, Brooks, Daniels and Ingwersen). The analysis of searching heuristics is based on a literature review covering both empirical studies (mainly by Fidel) as well as pragmatic lists of identified and recommended searching practices available in textbooks and in professional journals. A simple new typology for searching knowledge is introduced including five components: technical, host specific, database specific, general, and linguistic components. The applicability of various knowledge components in intermediary systems is discussed. The knowledge base of a profile analyser developed for the prototype of the Knowledge based Intermediary System for Information Retrieval (KISIR) is introduced. The rules applied in the knowledge base are compared to those proposed in the international literature. The main possibilities and difficulties in the development of a commercial knowledge based intermediary system are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages104
ISBN (Print)951-38-3502-2
Publication statusPublished - 1989
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Julkaisuja - Publikationer


  • information retrieval
  • user interfaces
  • artificial intelligence
  • expert systems
  • information systems


Dive into the research topics of 'An analysis of online searching knowledge for intermediary systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this