Wade, Steve and Braekevelt, Patrick (1994) IR_Framework: a Class Library for Information Retrieval. In: Software Engineering in Higher Education. Transaction: Information and Communication Technologies volume 7, 7 . WIT Press, Southampton, UK. ISBN 1-85312-289-0

This report discusses progress on the development of IR_Framework an extensible class
library for information retrieval currently under development at the University of
Huddersfield. When completed, IR_Framework will include the data structures and methods
required to support the development of any information retrieval system in which it is
necessary to store, automatically index and retrieve objects on the basis of their text content.
The types of system falling into this category are very diverse ranging from bibliographic
retrieval systems through electronic office filing systems to multimedia educational software
(where images and video sequences can be retrieved via associated textual descriptions) and
geographic information systems. A primary objective of the research is to make the class
library as extensible as possible so that the information retrieval functionality can be
extended to the specific requirements of a wide range of applications. We are therefore fully
exploiting the benefits of working in an object-oriented development environment.
This report is divided into four sections: the first of these presents a review of earlier
information retrieval research on which the current work is based; the second describes the
object-oriented design of IR_Framework; the third discusses the way in which a prototype
version of IR_Framework (implemented in C++ ) has been used in the development of a
simple reference management system called PAPERS; the fourth, and concluding section,
discusses the way in which the class library will be further developed to support both
teaching and further research.

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