Comparing XML-IR Query Formation Interfaces

Woodley, Alan P., Geva, Shlomo, & Edwards, Sylvia L. (2006) Comparing XML-IR Query Formation Interfaces. Australian Journal of Intelligent Information Processing Systems, 9(2), pp. 64-71.


XML information retrieval (XML-IR) systems differ from traditional information retrieval systems by using structure of XML documents to retrieve more specific units of information than the documents themselves. Users interact with XML-IR systems via structured queries that express their content and structural requirements. Historically, it has been common belief within the XML-IR community that structured queries will perform better than traditional keyword-only queries. However, recent system-orientated analysis has show that this assumption may be incorrect when system performance is averaged over a set of queries. Here, we test this assumption with users via a simulated work task experiment. We compare a keyword only interface with two user friendly XML-IR interfaces: NLPX, a natural language interface and Bricks, a query-bytemplate interface. This is the first time that a XML-IR natural language interface has been tested in user experiments. We compare the retrieval performance of all three interfaces and the usability of the two structured interfaces. Our results correspond to those of the system-orientated evaluation and indicate that structured queries do not aid retrieval performance. They also show that in terms of retrieval performance and usability the structured interfaces are comparable.

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ID Code: 9706
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 1321-2133
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Information Retrieval and Web Search (080704)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 (The authors)
Deposited On: 25 Sep 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:46

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