Much previous research on improving information retrieval applications has focused on developing entirely new systems with advanced searching features. Unfortunately, most users seldom utilize these advanced features, This research explores the use of a software agent that assists the user during the search process. The agent was developed as a separate, stand-alone component to be integrated with existing information retrieval systems. The performance of an information retrieval system with the integrated agent was subjected to an evaluation with 30 test subjects. The results indicate that agents developed using both results from previous user studies and rapidly modeling user information needs can result in an improvement in precision. Implications for information retrieval system design and directions for future research are outlined.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics and Econometrics