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Local search: A guide for the information retrieval practitioner

MacFarlane, A. & Tuson, A. (2009). Local search: A guide for the information retrieval practitioner. Information Processing and Management, 45(1), pp. 159-174. doi: 10.1016/j.ipm.2008.09.002


There are a number of combinatorial optimisation problems in information retrieval in which the use of local search methods are worthwhile. The purpose of this paper is to show how local search can be used to solve some well known tasks in information retrieval (IR), how previous research in the field is piecemeal, bereft of a structure and methodologically flawed, and to suggest more rigorous ways of applying local search methods to solve IR problems. We provide a query based taxonomy for analysing the use of local search in IR tasks and an overview of issues such as fitness functions, statistical significance and test collections when conducting experiments on combinatorial optimisation problems. The paper gives a guide on the pitfalls and problems for IR practitioners who wish to use local search to solve their research issues, and gives practical advice on the use of such methods. The query based taxonomy is a novel structure which can be used by the IR practitioner in order to examine the use of local search in IR.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: combinatorial optimisation, information retrieval, local search, evaluation
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Library & Information Science
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