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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Dan Wu and Daqing He

This paper seeks to examine the further integration of machine translation technologies with cross language information access in providing web users the capabilities of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the further integration of machine translation technologies with cross language information access in providing web users the capabilities of accessing information beyond language barriers. Machine translation and cross language information access are related technologies, and yet they have their own unique contributions in handling information in multiple languages. This paper aims to demonstrate that there are many opportunities to further integrate machine translation with cross language information access, and the combination can greatly empower web users in their information access.

Design/methodology/approach

Using English and Chinese as the language pair for studying, this paper looks at machine translation in query translation‐based cross language information access at multiple important aspects, which include query translation, relevance feedback, interactive cross language information access, out‐of‐vocabulary term translation, and data fusion. The goal is to obtain more insights about the wide range usages of machine translation in cross language information access, and to help the community to identify promising future directions for both machine translation and cross language access.

Findings

Machine translation can be applied effectively in many places in the whole cross language information access process. Queries translated by a machine translation system are high quality and are more robust in handling potential untranslated terms. Translation enhancement, a relevance feedback method using machine translation generated returned documents, is not only a valid technique by itself, but also helps to generate more robust cross language information access performance when combined with other relevance feedback techniques. Machine translation is also found to play a significant role in resolving untranslated terms and in data fusion.

Originality/value

This set of comparative empirical studies on integrating machine translation and cross language information access was performed on a common evaluation framework, and examined integration at multiple points of the cross language access process. The experimental results demonstrate the value of further integrating machine translation in cross language information access, and identify interesting future directions for both machine translation and cross language information access research.

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2011

Turkka Näppilä, Katja Moilanen and Timo Niemi

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an expressive query language, called relational XML query language (RXQL), capable of dealing with heterogeneous Extensible…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an expressive query language, called relational XML query language (RXQL), capable of dealing with heterogeneous Extensible Markup Language (XML) documents in data‐centric applications. In RXQL, data harmonization (i.e. the removal of heterogeneous factors from XML data) is integrated with typical data‐centric features (e.g. grouping, ordering, and aggregation).

Design/methodology/approach

RXQL is based on the XML relation representation, developed in the authors' previous work. This is a novel approach to unambiguously represent semistructured data relationally, which makes it possible in RXQL to manipulate XML data in a tuple‐oriented way, while XML data are typically manipulated in a path‐oriented way.

Findings

The user is able to describe the result of an RXQL query straightforwardly based on non‐XML syntax. The analysis of this description, through the mechanism developed in this paper, affords the automatic construction of the query result. This feature increases significantly the declarativeness of RXQL compared to the path‐oriented XML languages where the user needs to control the construction of the result extensively.

Practical implications

The authors' formal specification of the construction of the query result can be considered as an abstract implementation of RXQL.

Originality/value

RXQL is a declarative query language capable of integrating data harmonization seamlessly with other data‐centric features in the manipulation of heterogeneous XML data. So far, these kinds of XML query languages have been missing. Obviously, the expressive power of RXQL can be achieved by computationally complete XML languages, such as XQuery. However, these are not actual query languages, and the query formulation in them usually presupposes programming skills that are beyond the ordinary end‐user.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

BRIAN VICKERY and ALINA VICKERY

There is a huge amount of information and data stored in publicly available online databases that consist of large text files accessed by Boolean search techniques. It is…

Abstract

There is a huge amount of information and data stored in publicly available online databases that consist of large text files accessed by Boolean search techniques. It is widely held that less use is made of these databases than could or should be the case, and that one reason for this is that potential users find it difficult to identify which databases to search, to use the various command languages of the hosts and to construct the Boolean search statements required. This reasoning has stimulated a considerable amount of exploration and development work on the construction of search interfaces, to aid the inexperienced user to gain effective access to these databases. The aim of our paper is to review aspects of the design of such interfaces: to indicate the requirements that must be met if maximum aid is to be offered to the inexperienced searcher; to spell out the knowledge that must be incorporated in an interface if such aid is to be given; to describe some of the solutions that have been implemented in experimental and operational interfaces; and to discuss some of the problems encountered. The paper closes with an extensive bibliography of references relevant to online search aids, going well beyond the items explicitly mentioned in the text. An index to software appears after the bibliography at the end of the paper.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Mourad Ykhlef

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) data are data which are not necessarily constrained by a schema, XML is fast emerging as a standard for data representation and exchange…

Abstract

Purpose

eXtensible Markup Language (XML) data are data which are not necessarily constrained by a schema, XML is fast emerging as a standard for data representation and exchange on the world wide web, the ability to intelligently query XML data becomes increasingly important. Some XML graphical query languages for XML data have been proposed but they are either too complex or too limited in the power of expression and in their use. The purpose of this paper is to propose a recursive graphical query language for querying and restructuring XML data (RGQLX). The expressive power of RGQLX is comparable to Fixpoint. RGQLX language is a multi‐sorted graphical language integrating grouping, aggregate functions, nested queries and recursion.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology emphasizes on RGQLX's development which is base of G‐XML data model syntax to express a wide variety of XML queries, ranging from simple selection, to expressive data transformations involving grouping, aggregation and sorting. RGQLX allows users to express recursive visual queries in an elegant manner. RGQLX has an operational semantics based on the annotated XML, which serves to express queries and data trees in form of XML. The paper presents an algorithm to achieve the matching between data and query trees after translating a query tree into annotated XML.

Findings

Developed and demonstrated were: a G‐XML model; recursive queries; annotated XML for the semantic operations and a matching algorithm.

Research limitations/implications

The future research work on RGQLX language will be expanding it to include recursive aggregations.

Practical implications

The algorithms/approaches proposed can be easily integrated in any commercial product to enhance the performance of XML query languages.

Originality/value

The proposed work integrates various novel techniques for XML query syntax/semantic into a single language with a suitable matching algorithm. The power of this proposal is in the class of Fixpoint queries.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2018

Hengyi Fu

With the increasing number of online multilingual resources, cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) has drawn much attention from the information retrieval (IR…

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Abstract

Purpose

With the increasing number of online multilingual resources, cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) has drawn much attention from the information retrieval (IR) research community. However, few studies have examined how and why multilingual searchers seek information in two or more languages, specifically how they switch and mix language in queries to get satisfying results. The purpose of this paper is to focus on Chinese–English bilinguals’ intra-sentential code-switching behaviors in online searches. The scenarios and reasons of code-switching, factors that may affect code-switching, the patterns of mixed language query formulation and reformulation and how current IR systems and other search tools can facilitate such information needs were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth semi-structured interviews were used as the research method. In total, 30 participants were recruited based on their English proficiency, location and profession, using a purposive sampling method.

Findings

Four scenarios and four reasons for using Chinese–English mixed language queries to cover information needs were identified, and results suggest that linguistic and cultural/social factors are of equivalent importance in code-switching behaviors. English terms and Chinese terms in queries play different roles in searches, and mixed language queries are irreplaceable by either single language queries or other search facilitating features. Findings also suggest current search engines and tools need greater emphasis in the user interface and more user education is required.

Originality/value

This study presents a qualitative analysis of bilinguals’ code-switching behaviors in online searches. Findings are expected to advance the theoretical understanding of bilingual users’ search strategies and interactions with IR systems, and provide insights for designing more effective IR systems and tools to discover multilingual online resources, including cross-language controlled vocabularies, personalized CLIR tools and mixed language query assistants.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

SHIRLEY ANNE COUSINS

Experimental evidence suggests that enhancing the subject content of OPAC records can improve retrieval performance. This is based on the use of natural language index…

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599

Abstract

Experimental evidence suggests that enhancing the subject content of OPAC records can improve retrieval performance. This is based on the use of natural language index terms derived from the table of contents and back‐of‐the‐book index of documents. The research reported here investigates the alternative approach of translating these natural language terms into controlled vocabulary. Subject queries were collected by interview at the catalogue, and indexing of the queries demonstrated the impressive ability of PRECIS, and to a lesser extent LCSH, to represent users' information needs. DDC performed poorly in this respect. The assumption was made that an index language adequately specific to represent users' queries should be adequate to represent document contents. Searches were carried out on three test databases, and both natural language and PRECIS enhancement of MARC records increased the number of relevant documents found, with PRECIS showing the better performance. However, with weak stemming the advantage of PRECIS was lost. Consideration must also be given to the potential advantages of controlled vocabulary, over and above basic retrieval performance measures.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 48 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1979

MALCOLM P. ATKINSON

A survey of current work on database systems is presented. The area is divided into three main sectors: data models, data languages and support for database operations…

Abstract

A survey of current work on database systems is presented. The area is divided into three main sectors: data models, data languages and support for database operations. Data models are presented as the link between the database and the real world. Languages range from formal algebraic languages to attempts to use a dialogue in English to formulate queries. The support includes hardware for content addressing, database machines and software techniques for optimizing and evaluating group expressions. Mathematical models are used to organize this support. Throughout there is a tutorial component and evaluation, which in both cases is related to the application of database ideas to documentation.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2008

Eija Airio

The aim of the current paper is to test whether query translation is beneficial in web retrieval.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the current paper is to test whether query translation is beneficial in web retrieval.

Design/methodology/approach

The language pairs were Finnish‐Swedish, English‐German and Finnish‐French. A total of 12‐18 participants were recruited for each language pair. Each participant performed four retrieval tasks. The author's aim was to compare the performance of the translated queries with that of the target language queries. Thus, the author asked participants to formulate a source language query and a target language query for each task. The source language queries were translated into the target language utilizing a dictionary‐based system. In English‐German, also machine translation was utilized. The author used Google as the search engine.

Findings

The results differed depending on the language pair. The author concluded that the dictionary coverage had an effect on the results. On average, the results of query‐translation were better than in the traditional laboratory tests.

Originality/value

This research shows that query translation in web is beneficial especially for users with moderate and non‐active language skills. This is valuable information for developers of cross‐language information retrieval systems.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 64 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Craig Standing and Geoffrey G. Roy

Developing macro queries in software systems is a complex task for many users. Geographical information systems (GIS) are large software systems that require much effort…

Abstract

Developing macro queries in software systems is a complex task for many users. Geographical information systems (GIS) are large software systems that require much effort to develop expertise in. A functional programming design approach has a number of distinct strengths that can be represented in a graphical query language interface to aid users in macro query development. A visual functional query language (VFQL) for Geographical Information Systems is presented and its strengths and weaknesses discussed. The system is based on a visual functional programming design approach. This offers a consistent, non‐procedural, strongly typed environment where users can develop their own higher order functions. The approach integrates functional programming, visual programming and knowledge and rules. VFQL’s effectiveness is evaluated compared with a text based command language for GIS macro query development. The results of an experiment indicate that users could develop solutions to simpler tasks more quickly and with fewer errors than a comparative text based command language. On more complex tasks there was no significant difference. From this we deduce that VFQL demonstrates certain design features to help the development of macros or small programs for users but that the complexity of the problem in difficult tasks is likely to be the most important determinant of the error rate and time to complete the task.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Keng Hoon Gan and Keat Keong Phang

When accessing structured contents in XML form, information requests are formulated in the form of special query languages such as NEXI, Xquery, etc. However, it is not…

Abstract

Purpose

When accessing structured contents in XML form, information requests are formulated in the form of special query languages such as NEXI, Xquery, etc. However, it is not easy for end users to compose such information requests using these special queries because of their complexities. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to automate the construction of such queries from common query like keywords or form-based queries.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors address the problem of constructing queries for XML retrieval by proposing a semantic-syntax query model that can be used to construct different types of structured queries. First, a generic query structure known as semantic query structure is designed to store query contents given by user. Then, generation of a target language is carried out by mapping the contents in semantic query structure to query syntax templates stored in knowledge base.

Findings

Evaluations were carried out based on how well information needs are captured and transformed into a target query language. In summary, the proposed model is able to express information needs specified using query like NEXI. Xquery records a lower percentage because of its language complexity. The authors also achieve satisfactory query construction rate with an example-based method, i.e. 86 per cent (for NEXI IMDB topics) and 87 per cent (NEXI Wiki topics), respectively, compare to benchmark of 78 per cent by Sumita and Iida in language translation.

Originality/value

The proposed semantic-syntax query model allows flexibility of accommodating new query language by separating the semantic of query from its syntax.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

Keywords

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