Report Number: CS-TR-82-947
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Modelling degrees of item interest for a general database
Author: Rowe, Neil C.
Date: April 1982
Abstract: Many databases support decision-making. Often this means
choices between alternatives according to partly subjective
or conflicting criteria. Database query languages are
generally designed for precise, logical specification of the
data of interest, and tend to be awkward in the
aforementioned circumstances. Information retrieval research
suggests several solutions, but there are obstacles to
generalizing these ideas to most databases.
To address this problem we propose a methodology for
automatically deriving and monitoring "degrees of interest"
among alternatives for a user of a database system. This
includes (a) a decision theory model of the value of
information to the user, and (b) inference mechanisms, based
in part on ideas from artificial intelligence, that can tune
the model to observed user behavior. This theory has
important applications to improving efficiency and
cooperativeness of the interface between a decision-maker and
a database system.