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The Loss of Domain Knowledge in User Search Queries: A Query Log Analysis of a Botanical Retrieval System

Xiaoya Tang

(Submission #111)


A good understanding of user search queries is the basis for designing effective retrieval systems. In the field of botanical science, most retrieval systems use the general model which assumes that users search based on topic matching. However, botanical information retrieval is often task-oriented and involves the use of domain knowledge. Accordingly, user search queries often define very specific meaning compared to topic-based retrieval. This study analyzes the user search queries of a botanical retrieval system. The results reveal that user search queries and document representations use very different format and vocabulary. The domain knowledge used in user search queries is lost when such queries are interpreted by the system.


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