Chapter 8

Information Mining: Methods and Interfaces for Accessing Complex Information 1

8.1. Introduction

Access to information can take various forms depending on the type of data processed, the systems which handle the data and user’s expectations. Various research disciplines have consequently shown an interest in providing access to electronic information. A common functionality of these systems is the ability to restore part of the stored information to a user in accordance with the user’s particular requirements. In the field of databases, database management systems (DBMS) ensure the management of structured information, and set-based languages such as SQL and OQL enable non-ambiguous queries to be written, hence ensuring selected data that correspond to the user’s requirements. The response of a DBMS corresponds to a subset of stored data. These data are supplied in their original formats, in other words, without (post-) processing after selection, or in an aggregated format. In information retrieval (IR), the objectives are identical, but the type of information handled is different; it consists of information granules which can be termed as document units. Each document unit contains diverse information, and an additional problem in relation to the management of data is the encoding of this diverse information. As a document unit can be in different formats (text, graphical, audio, video, multimedia), these formats require a greater or lesser degree of complex processing ...

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