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Feldspar: A System for Finding Information by Association

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Uploaded on Mar 22, 2009

Sometimes people cannot remember the names or locations of things on their computer, but they can remember what other things are associated with them. We created Feldspar, the first system that fully supports this associative retrieval of personal information on the computer. Feldspars contributions include (1) an intuitive user interface that allows users to find information by interactively and incrementally specifying multiple levels of associations as retrieval queries, such as: find the file from the person who I met at an event in May; and (2) algorithms for collecting the association information and for providing answers to associative queries in real-time. A user study showed that Feldspar is easy to use, and suggested that it might be faster than conventional browsing and searching for these kinds of retrieval tasks. Feldspar could be an important addition to search and browsing tools.

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