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Dissertation Information for Ruth Ann Palmquist

- Ruth Ann Palmquist
- (Alias) Ruth Palmquist
- (Alias) Ruth A. Palmquist

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Syracuse University (USA) (1990)

- Michael Eisenberg

- Jeffrey H. Katzer
- Robert Oddy
- Michael Nilan
- Susan Monica Bonzi

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: A study of word associations in the natural language expressions of information needs in an information retrieval setting

Abstract: Two characteristics of a user's language behavior, vocabulary and structure (defined for this study as the statistical word associations found between vocabulary choices made), are used as indicators of a conceptual or knowledge structure. These characteristics are available in both the inquirer's statement or natural language expression (NLE) of his or her problematic situation and in the natural language portions of the document representations which are selected by the inquirer as useful to that context. This study sought to examine these language use characteristics, vocabulary and the resulting word associations, to determine whether they may be useful in discriminating relevant and non-relevant document representations. Using the automatic application of thesauri, user and document description vocabularies were simplified to provide a best possible case for the study. Word associations created by the order and proximity between co-occurring word pairs in both user NLEs and document descriptions with original and simplified vocabularies were determined. These word associations were compared against simple word frequencies for both original and simplified vocabularies. The findings suggest that the word associations which are identified in the user's NLE do significantly poorer at discriminating between the natural language or free-text portions of relevant and non-relevant document representations than do simple word frequencies. The simplification of vocabularies in both the user's NLE and the companion document representations created a "homogenizing" effect which essentially neutralized, overall, their ability to discriminate between a set of relevant and non-relevant document surrogates. These findings suggest that the user's conceptual structure, as determined using the vocabulary and statistical word associations in the NLE of his or her problematic context, is of limited value in the discrimination of relevant document descriptions from non-relevant ones.

MPACT Scores for Ruth Ann Palmquist

A = 2
C = 4
A+C = 6
T = 2
G = 1
W = 2
TD = 2
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:25:55

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Students under Ruth Ann Palmquist

- Kyung-Sun Kim - University of Texas, Austin (1998)
- Cecilia Salvatore - University of Texas, Austin (2000)

- Elizabeth T. Hewins - University of Texas, Austin (1997)
- Soyeon Lee - University of Texas, Austin (2000)
- Jens-Erik Mai - University of Texas, Austin (2000)
- Wanda Jackson - University of Texas, Austin (2001)