Neural networks have recently been proposed for the construction of navigation interfaces for Information Retrieval systems. In this paper, we give an overview of some current research in this area. Most of the cited approaches use (variants) of the well-known Kohonen network. The Kohonen network implements a topology-preserving dimensionality-reducing mapping, which can be applied for information visualization. We identify a number of problems in the application of Kohonen networks for Information Retrieval, most notably scalability, reliability and retrieval effectiveness. To solve these problems we propose to use the Growing Cell Structures network, a variant of the Kohonen network which shows a more flexible adaptation to the domain structure.
This network was tested on two standard test-collections, using a combined recall and precision measure, and compared to traditional IR methods such as the Vector Space Model and various clustering algorithms. The network performs at a competitive level of effectiveness, and is suitable for visualization purposes. However, the incremental training procedures for the networks result in a reliability problem, and the approach is computationally intensive. Also, the utility of the resulting maps for navigation will need further improvement.
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Zavrel, J. Neural navigation interfaces for Information Retrieval: Are they more than an appealing idea?. Artif Intell Rev 10, 477–504 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00130695
- information retrieval
- information visualization
- semantic road maps
- neural networks
- self-organizing maps