The following glossary does not cover all
jargon terms employed in this book, but only those
actually adopted by the book and used repeatedly.
Most of the meanings given are based on the work of
other authors. The few terms used in an unusual
sense in this book are marked with a "+".
in an input string, a term which is
the lead term of one or more of the index
in string indexing, any data input
to an index string generator other than input
to investigate, without design, the
contents of an information store, such as an
index or a database.
the order in which the terms appear
within a description such as an index string. clarity: of an index string, the readiness and
likely correctness with which searchers will
interpret to what it refers.
a meaningful character or sequence of
characters which does not contain ordinary
the extent to which similar elements
are close together and dissimilar elements
separated (for example, in an index).
a word, phrase, punctuation mark, or
other symbol comprehensible to searchers and
used to show the relationship between parts of
an expression such as an index string.
an element of an index which
points to another part of the index.
any data, such as a text or other
string of characters, which describes or
characterizes something else.
of a search, the extent to which it
leads to relatively useful as against
relatively useless information.
the extent to which less effort is
expended to achieve equal effectiveness.
+eliminability: of an index element, the ease with
which it can be eliminated by a searcher if it
does not contain useful information.
a list of terms which should be access
the first part of an index entry or of any
other index element when displayable
a kind of retrieval tool, consisting of at
least an ordered list of index entries, plus,
optionally, other elements such as
a display of an index or of part of
an index for people to use.
an element in an index, consisting of
a description and a locator.
the description part of an index
entry in a string index.
+index string generator
computer software for
producing a set of index strings from a single
description of an indexed item.
a document or other item of
information for which a description is
produced for purposes of producing an index.
a person making up descriptions of indexed
items for the purpose of producing an index.
in string indexing, a string of terms
and other symbols which is a description of an
indexed item and which may be used by an index
string generator to produce a set of index
strings for the indexed item.
in string indexing, a word in an input
string which the index string generator
recognizes as an access term.
the first term in an index string.
the length of the sequence of links between
a point in a tree and the point designated as
a direct connection between two terms in a
description of an indexed item, corresponding
to a relationship between the things that the
a category to which some links belong. locator: a string of characters useful in finding
the location of information outside an index.
of terms and links, a structure in which
there is no limitation on which terms may be
linked to which.
the proportion of the indexed
items retrieved during a search on a query,
which are judged relevant to that query.
of an index string, the extent to
which a searcher can infer what form it will
take and where it will appear in the index if
a term which may be used in
descriptions of indexed items
the function of leading a
searcher from the concept of a more general
class to the concept of a subclass without
representing the subclass by a new term.
the proportion, of the indexed
items judged relevant to a query, which are
retrieved during a search on that query.
unnecessary repetition; specifically,
of information not needed by searchers because
they already have it.
usefulness to an information need;
especially, as judged from the expression of
the information need in a query.
a code categorizing how a term in a
description of an indexed item is connected to
other terms in the description or to the
indexed item itself.
to examine every element in a set of elements
(for example, every subheading under a given
in an index, the process of looking for
information about things outside the index.
a person looking for information (for
example, from an index or from a database).
a list of words, phrases, or other
expressions which should not be access terms.
a type of index in which the
description part of each index entry is a
string of terms and connectives joined
together by computer software according to
regular and explicit rules and in which each
indexed item normally has two or more index
entries with overlapping descriptions.
the part of an index entry or other
index element following the heading when
the ratio of detail to length of a
description such as an index string.
a sequence of characters used as the name of
a thing or of a class of things; more loosely,
any sequence of characters treated in a
similar way in indexing.
a string of characters constituting a
continuous discourse in ordinary language.
a structure indicating terms or other
descriptive strings to be used in descriptions
of indexed items and the relationships of
these to other terms or descriptive strings.
of terms and links, a structure in which
there is one and only one sequence of links
between any two terms.