Clustering of related or similar objects has long been regarded as a potentially useful contribution to helping users navigate an information space such as a document collection. When documents are related by virtue of being about the same or similar topics, then this is often a good indicator that they will be relevant to the same queries and this can be used during the retrieval operation. Many clustering algorithms and techniques have been developed and implemented since the earliest days of computational information retrieval but as the sizes of document collections have grown these techniques have not been scaled to large collections because of their computational overhead. In this paper we describe a technique for clustering a collection of documents such as a collection of online newspapers which uses a number of short-cuts to make the process computable for large collections. Furthermore, our design is extensible in that it caters for a dynamic collection of documents which would be periodically, perhaps nightly, updated, amended or have deletions. An implementation of the clustering on an archive of the Irish Times newspaper is reported here.
Author and article information
Alan F. Smeaton
School of Computer Applications
Dublin City University
Glasnevin, Dublin 9, IRELAND