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Using \RelFbk to adapt documents' indices

An alternative use of RelFbk is to make changes to the documents rather than to the query. While before the argument was that it is sensible to make the query look more like those documents the users liked, the argument now is the converse: Documents found relevant to a query should be described more like the query used to identify them. Changes made to document vectors according to this heuristic are known as DOCUMENT MODIFICATIONS and shown in Figure (figure) .

Note that unlike query modification, adaptive document modifications made in response to RelFbk are not expected to be of (immediate) use to the users who provide them. Instead, the hope is that these changed documents' representations are available later, to others who might be searching. As Salton [Salton83] describes the goal: Following a large number of such interactions documents which are wanted by the users will have been moved slowly into the active portion of the document space - that part in which large numbers of users' queries are concentrated, while items which are normally rejected will be located on the periphery of the space. [p. 145] This provocative proposal, {\em allowing a search engine to learn from its users}, is considered in much greater detail in Chapter §7 .


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