Information Retrieval Using Collaborating Multi-User Agents

Information Retrieval Using Collaborating Multi-User Agents

Elaine Ferneley
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-931777-14-8.ch010
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Informal channels for the exchange of information have long been recognised as important (Menzel, 1959; Wilson, 1981; Kuhlthau, 1991; Root, 1988; Kraut and Galegher, 1990). Typical examples of informal information exchange activities are conferring with peers and consultation with a subject librarian (Taylor, 1968; Kuhlthau, 1991; Fox, Hix, Nowell, Brueni, Wafe, Heath and Rao, 1993). If Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are to become truly user-centred then they must support such informal collaborative activity. The recent interest in knowledge management has, in part, been stimulated by the recognition that valuable information is transferred during informal collaborations (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). To bring some formality to the process organisations are investing in document management software, intranets and groupware technologies (Kiesler, 1997). However, these technologies rely largely on the user actively searching out information and assume that the user can formulate their information needs into an appropriate query. Additionally, such systems tend towards failure in the longer term if users are not motivated in augmenting the knowledge base (Skyrme, 1999).

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