Report Number: CS-TR-93-1494
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Index Structures for Information Filtering Under the Vector Space Model
Author: Yan, Tak W.
Author: Garcia-Molina, Hector
Date: December 1993
Abstract: With the ever increasing volumes of information generation, users of information systems are facing an information overload. It is desirable to support information filtering as a complement to traditional retrieval mechanism. The number of users, and thus profiles (representing users' long-term interests), handled by an information filtering system is potentially huge, and the system has to process a constant stream of incoming information in a timely fashion. The efficiency of the filtering process is thus an important issue. In this paper, we study what data structures and algorithms can be used to efficiently perform large-scale information filtering under the vector space model, a retrieval model established as being effective. We apply the idea of the standard inverted index to index user profiles. We devise an alternative to the standard inverted index, in which we, instead of indexing every term in a profile, select only the significant ones to index. We evaluate their performance and show that the indexing methods require orders of magnitude fewer I/Os to process a document than when no index is used. We also show that the proposed alternative performs better in terms of I/O and CPU processing time in many cases.