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Faceted Search (Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and S) Paperback – June 29, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts with an insightful introduction to information classification and retrieval. It explains why the Faceted Search paradigm is so useful, and why it so much better than what preceded it. This was probably the best introduction to faceted search I have ever read, well written and fun to read (you can probably read the entire book in one afternoon).
But once you finish reading the introduction chapters, you realize that most of the book is over, and you still haven't read any details on how faceted search is actually implemented or best used in practice. These practical concerns are briefly surveyed in 20 pages, but this means that extremely interesting topics that each deserves a whole chapter, are often briefly mentioned in one sentence. If the author accompanied each of these sentences with a reference to a full research paper discussing this topic, it would also have been great, but a lot of statements are made in this booklet without being qualified by a reference, unfortunately.
One of the best insights I found in this book was in page 12-18: that ranked search is much better (and much more common) than set search, and yet faceted search only works well with set search. I waited throughout the book to see how the author proposes to treat this elephant in the room, and was disappointed when he only returned to this subject briefly in page 63, where he says that techniques which are useful for general search because they improve recall (e.g., query expansion), only hurt faceted search. Unfortunately, he doesn't offer any solution.Read more ›
Again, there's nothing earth shattering, but it does point to a number of good pieces of literature and papers in the reference section, and it's much shorter than reading Marti Hearst's book entirely (though if you have, you can probably skip this).