Patent Number: 7,089,226

Title: System, representation, and method providing multilevel information retrieval with clarification dialog

Abstract: An information retrieval system, including a learning and real-time classification methodology, is provided in accordance with the present invention. The system includes a hierarchal analysis component that receives a query and processes probabilities associated with N categories, each category having one or more topics, wherein N is an integer. An interactive component drives clarification dialog that is derived from the query and the probabilities associated with the N categories and the one or more topics. The clarification dialog, driven by a rule-based policy, a decision-theoretic analysis considering the costs of dialog to focus the results versus the costs of browsing larger lists, or combinations of rules and decision-theoretic analysis is employed when valuable to determine at least one category of the N categories to facilitate retrieval of at least one of the topics.

Inventors: Dumais; Susan T. (Kirkland, WA), Horvitz; Eric J. (Kirkland, WA)

Assignee: Microsoft Corporation

International Classification: G06F 17/30 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/08/02018