Providing Context to Web Searches : The Use of Ontologies to Enhance Search Engine's Accuracy

Flávia A. BarrosPedro F. GonçalvesThiago L.V.L. Santos

This paper presents the design and state of development of a framework for the construction and use of ontologies to guide searches in the Web or in document repositories. The aim is to enhance precision and recall in information retrieval sessions through the use of a context associated to each session. For transparency and flexibility, these contexts are dynamically built by the user from the system's available ontologies. This way, the user controls the conceptual structure underlying the search process, which should mirror his/hers information needs. Via the Ontologies Manager Framework, the user is able to access an incrementally built public ontology, as well as to create private ontologies, kept in the user's local area. Concepts to compose sessions' contexts can be selected from public and private ontologies. Private ontologies may be proposed by the user to integrate the public ontology, which is periodically upgraded by a maintenance module. This framework is a plug in which can be connected to a number of search engines. The initial experiments use Bright! (Brazilian Internet Guide in Hypertext) search engine as testbed. The prototype is implemented in Java, for portability and reusability.

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