Proceedings of the Final Workshop on Multimedia Information Retrieval (Miro '95) (MIRO)
Multimedia Information Retrieval
18-20 September 1995
In this report I describe those characteristics of information needs that I consider to be the most important for their effective modelling in Information Retrieval (IR). Using these characteristics as terms of reference, I highlight inadequacies of current IR approaches. I propose a new approach that is not only a hybrid of positive aspects of the existing approaches, but that also embodies a significant and novel addition - the ostensive definition of developing information needs. The new approach displays interesting properties - eg the contextual interpretation of information items. I describe these properties and explain why I feel it makes a more appropriate model for the provision of an environment in which to perform searching tasks. I believe that it will facilitate less formal, more spontaneous access to stored information, and that it will reduce the difference in degrees of effectiveness attained by users of varied experience. It has important media, language, and domain independence characteristics that make it particularly suitable for the next generation of information systems. The approach, centred around a graphical interaction environment, brings with it new, possibly unique, problems in visualisation - challenging one of the accepted assumptions of information spaces.