Current Trends in Information Retrieval Systems: Review of Fuzzy Set Theory and Fuzzy Boolean Retrieval Models

Jonathan N. Chimah and Friday Ibiam Ude
Keywords: Information retrieval systems, Document delivery, Fuzzy Set theory, Fuzzy Boolean retrieval models
Journal of Library Services and Technologies 2020 2(2), 48-56. Published: September 11, 2020


This paper reviews the concept and goal of Information Retrieval Systems (IRSs). It also explains the synonymous concepts in Information Retrieval (IR) which include such terms as: imprecision, vagueness, uncertainty, and inconsistency. Current trends in IRSs are discussed. Fuzzy Set Theory, Fuzzy Retrieval Models are reviewed. The paper also discusses extensions of Fuzzy Boolean Retrieval Models including Fuzzy techniques for documents’ indexing and Flexible query languages. Fuzzy associative mechanisms were identified to include:(1) fuzzy pseudothesauri and fuzzy ontologies which can be used to contextualize the search by expanding the set of index terms of documents;(2) an alternative use of fuzzy pseudothesarui and fuzzy ontologies is to expand the query with related terms by taking into account their varying importance of an additional term and (3) fuzzy clustering techniques, where each document can be placed within several clusters with a given strength of belonging to each cluster, can be used to expand the set of the documents retrieved in response to a query. The paper concludes by recommending that in an electronic library environment, the librarians and information scientists should acquaint themselves with these terms in order to be more equipped in helping library users retrieve online documents relevant to their information needs.