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The Matter

The ending millennium is characterized by tremendous growth rates in the quantity of information. How could anyone have an overview of where something is? Consequently, navigational help and search services are demanded that can quickly and easily lead users to desired information.

Naturally, several such search services already exist (e.g. Alta Vista, Yahoo!, Fireball, etc.).
However, there are still many hurdles to surmount before the desired information is found:

  • The query formulation is cryptic; a natural-language query would be advantageous
  • How are the results achieved (e.g. which ranking algorithms are used)?
  • A short summary (abstract) of accessed result pages would be desirable
  • Navigational help for existing subject areas hardly exists
  • . . .

Additional problems are posed by the collection of data, the organization of data into certain categories, and the actuality of data (e.g. many pages in the Internet presented as results no longer exist).

A considerable portion data is stored in large databases. Access to this data normally requires specialized knowledge (query language). Furthermore, the majority of query masks differ greatly from each other, so that the advantages of a database can hardly be used during particular data searches.

GETESS tackles some of the problems outlined above and points out some corresponding solutions. We are working toward presenting the first results of our work shortly. The first work paper for GETESS is presently available and can be accessed for its cost through the contact address.

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