Applying Ostensive Functionalism in the place of Descriptive Proceduralism




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Applying Ostensive Functionalism in the place of Descriptive Proceduralism The query is dead Iain Campbell COMPUTING SCIENCE UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW GLASGOW G12 8QQ iain dcs gla ac uk In C W Johnston and M D Dunlop editors proceedings of the British Computer Society workshop on Information Retrieval and Human computer Interaction University of Glasgow September 1996 In this short report I outline work that makes a case for the abandonment of queries in approaches to information access I first highlight problems with queries I then point out the complementary nature of query based and browse based approaches I describe the Ostensive Model that forms the core of a new approach combining the two traditional approaches It replaces the current reliance upon Descriptive Proceduralism with one of Ostensive Functionalism I believe the hybrid has potentially important media and language independence characteristics that make it ideal for a new generation of Information Retrieval systems 1 Current approaches Within interactive IR I see two main classes of approach Both represent fundamentally different approaches to exploration of an information space by the user that of query based and that of browse based This division corresponds in effect to the reliance upon describing information needs 1 1 Query based I regard as a query based system any one that requires of the user the production and refinement of a description of their information need Broadly speaking this description encompasses the vast majority of current IR systems both commercial and research The most prominent examples of query based systems are the Boolean systems offered by commercial dial up online information providers eg STAIRS Ibm72 and its derivative BRS Search Other Boolean systems available for most personal workstations and bundled with CD ROM information bases eg Topic Leh94 Personal Librarian The most modern of the query based systems are the weighted systems that are generally restricted to the






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