Performance of Ruecking's Word-compression Method When Applied to Machine Retrieval from a Library Catalog

Ben-Ami Lipetz, Peter Stangl, Kathryn F. Taylor


F. H. Ruecking's word-compression algorithm for retrieval of bibliographic data from computer stores was tested for performance in matching user-supplied, unedited bibliographic data to the bibliographic data contained in a library catalog. The algorithm was tested by manual simulation, using data derived from 126 case studies of successful manual searches of the card catalog at Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University. The algorithm achieved 70% recall in comparison to conventional searching. Its accepta- bility as a substitute for conventional catalog searching methods is ques- tioned unless recall performance can be improved, either by use of the algorithm alone or in combination with other algorithms.

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