Report Number: CS-TR-97-1585
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Techniques and Tools for Making Sense out of Heterogeneous Search Service Results
Author: Baldonado, Michelle Q. Wang
Author: Winograd, Terry
Date: January 1997
Abstract: We describe a set of techniques that allows users to interact with results at a higher level than the citation level, even when those results come from a variety of heterogeneous on-line search services. We believe that interactive result analysis allows users to "make sense" out of the potentially many results that may match the constraints they have supplied to the search services. The inspiration for this approach comes from reference librarians, who do not respond to patrons' questions with lists of citations, but rather give high-level answers that are tailored to the patrons' needs. We outline here the details of the methods we employ in order to meet our goal of allowing for dynamic, user-directed abstraction over result sets, as well as the prototype tool (SenseMaker) we have built based upon these techniques. We also take a brief look at the more general theory that underlies the tool, and hypothesize that it is applicable to flexible duplicate detection as well.