A Simple WordNet-Ontology Based Email Retrieval System for Digital Forensics

  • Phan Thien Son
  • Lan Du
  • Huidong Jin
  • Olivier de Vel
  • Nianjun Liu
  • Terry Caelli
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5075)


Because of the high impact of high-tech digital crime upon our society, it is necessary to develop effective Information Retrieval (IR) tools to support digital forensic investigations. In this paper, we propose an IR system for digital forensics that targets emails. Our system incorporates WordNet (i.e. a domain independent ontology for the vocabulary) into an Extended Boolean Model (EBM) by applying query expansion techniques. Structured Boolean queries in Backus-Naur Form (BNF) are utilized to assist investigators in effectively expressing their information requirements. We compare the performance of our system on several email datasets with a traditional Boolean IR system built upon the Lucene keyword-only model. Experimental results show that our system yields a promising improvement in retrieval performance without the requirement of very accurate query keywords to retrieve the most relevant emails.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phan Thien Son
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lan Du
    • 1
    • 2
  • Huidong Jin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Olivier de Vel
    • 3
  • Nianjun Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Terry Caelli
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.NICTA Canberra LabCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.RSISEthe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence DivisionDSTOEdinburghAustralia

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