Use of multiple information problem representations for information retrieval

Nicholas J. Belkin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper discusses the general issues of the effect and use of multiple representations of the same information problem, or topic, on information retrieval system performance. It has been known for some time that different representations of the same information problem retrieve different sets (or lists) of documents, both relevant and non-relevant. More recently, there have been a number of studies investigating the effect of combining, in various ways, such different representations, in order to try to get a single response from the information retrieval system which is better than that for any of the single representations. Here, we discuss the rationale, both empirical and theoretical, for such an approach, and survey the results of recent research projects in this area. Briefly, all of them demonstrate the same phenomenon; the more representations one can combine, the better the retrieval performance. Implications of these results for IR system design, and IR practice, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - National Online Meeting
PublisherPubl by Learned Information Ltd
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0938734849
StatePublished - 1994
EventProceedings of the 15th National Online Meeting - New York, NY, USA
Duration: May 10 1994May 12 1994

Publication series

NameProceedings - National Online Meeting
ISSN (Print)0739-1471


ConferenceProceedings of the 15th National Online Meeting
CityNew York, NY, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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