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Updating collection representations for federated search

Shokouhi, M. and Baillie, M. and Azzopardi, L. (2007) Updating collection representations for federated search. In: 30th annual international ACM SIGIR conference on Research and development in information retrieval, 2007-07-23 - 2007-07-27. (Unpublished)

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To facilitate the search for relevant information across a set of online distributed collections, a federated information retrieval system typically represents each collection, centrally, by a set of vocabularies or sampled documents. Accurate retrieval is therefore related to how precise each representation reflects the underlying content stored in that collection. As collections evolve over time, collection representations should also be updated to reflect any change, however, a current solution has not yet been proposed. In this study we examine both the implications of out-of-date representation sets on retrieval accuracy, as well as proposing three different policies for managing necessary updates. Each policy is evaluated on a testbed of forty-four dynamic collections over an eight-week period. Our findings show that out-of-date representations significantly degrade performance over time, however, adopting a suitable update policy can minimise this problem.