A Concept-Based Approach to Retrieval from an Electronic Industrial Directory

Jay J. Jiang and David W. Conrath
International Journal of Electronic Commerce
Volume 1, Number 1, Fall, 1996, pp. 51 – 72.

Abstract: The success of local economies has become increasingly dependent on participation in the global economy. The development and convergence of computer and communication technologies have made it technically and economically feasible for a small business to be active at a global level. The issue is developing mechanisms to ensure this can take place. In this paper we introduce an Electronic Industrial Directory (EID) prototype–a database and the means to retrieve information from it–to enable businesses to find potential suppliers or purchasers with whom they may do business. We present a conceptual model of the EID and discuss the design of each subsystem. Specifically, to differentiate our model from the conventional word-based retrieval methods employed in most of the Yellow Pages-like systems, we propose a concept-based matching scheme for industry class identification as well as for product/service comparison during the retrieval process. We believe that retrieval effectiveness will be increased with the introduced model. In addition, visual navigation is supported in the query-reformulation process with the aim of providing maximum ease of searching for novice users.

Key Words and Phrases
: computational semantics, concept-based retrieval, electronic industrial directory, electronic yellow pages, information retrieval.