The Known World, a column/blog by David Alan Grier, appears both online and in Computer, a publication of the IEEE Computer Society. Finding What You Want appears in the September, 2010 issue of Computer.
Grier explores how Pandora augments our abilities to explore the vastness of musical space. Musical retrieval systems for years had static categories imposed upon them and those work for some purposes. But, also impose requirements upon users for retrieval.
According to Grier, the “Great Napster Crisis of 1999-2001,” resulted in a new field of music retrieval systems because current areas did not quite fit.
I find Grier’s analysis interesting because to his suggestion that the methods by which we find information of interest can shape what we consider as fitting our search criteria.
Perhaps, just perhaps, identifying subjects isn’t quite the string matching, cut-n-dried, approach that is the common approach. Music retrieval systems may be a fruitful area to look for clues as to how to improve more tradition information systems.
- Review Music Retrieval: A Tutorial and Review. (Somewhat dated, can you suggest a replacement?)
- Pick two or three techniques used for retrieval of music. How would you adapt those for texts?
- How would you test your adapted techniques against a text collection?