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The Use of Semantic Links in Hypertext Information Retrieval

Frei H.P.
Stieger D.


Hypermedia links support the manual browsing through large hypertext or hypermedia collections; however, retrieving specific portions of information in such a collection cannot be achieved by browsing only. Retrieval mechanisms are necessary.

In this paper we highlight the notion of semantic links and show how the semantic content of hypertext links can be used for retrieval purposes. We present indexing and retrieval algorithms that exploit the link content in addition to the content of the nodes. Retrieval status values are obtained from a combination of conventional information retrieval and constrained spreading activation techniques.

The results of some retrieval experiments in a hypertext test collection are presented: they are clearly superior to those obtained when the links are ignored. Since hypermedia collections basically have the same structure as hypertexts, the hope is that the same techniques can be applied to hypermedia information with the same effect of improving the retrieval results. Moreover, we hope that the results can be improved further by more sophisticated indexing algorithms.

[Fre95] Frei H.P. and Stieger D.. The Use of Semantic Links in Hypertext Information Retrieval. In Inform. Proc. and Management, Vol. 31, No.1, pages 1-13, 1995.

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