Daniel Tunkelang, co-founder and Chief Scientist at Endeca, has written a book on faceted search. The book should be available for purchase sometime in June. A little bit of pre-release information is available at Daniel’s blog.

Daniel was kind enough to send me a near-final draft of the manuscript to review.

If you don’t know what faceted search is or what its relevance is to federated search you may find this article to be helpful. Daniel Tunkelang is very passionate about finding ways to make information retrieval a more interactive endeavor. Faceted search is an important component of this interactivity. Here’s a salient piece of Daniel’s biography which I borrowed from his book:

Daniel is recognized as a leading advocate of Human Computer Information Retrieval, a multidisciplinary effort to bridge the gap between the more systems-oriented work in information retrieval and the more cognitively focused approach in library and information science. He has organized annual workshops on the subject. He publishes The Noisy Channel, a widely read and cited blog on the information seeking process. He also participates actively in both academic and industry conferences, recently attempting to bridge the gap between the two by organizing an Industry Track at SIGIR, the leading academic conference on information retrievals.

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In January, I wrote a primer about clustering. I explained that:

… clustering is the automatic organization of search results into sets of results that have something in common. Some search engines and some federated search engines provide clustering features.

I also introduced faceted search, also known as faceted navigation:

This technology guides a user to relevant content by organizing search results in a hierarchical structure and providing labeled choices of paths in the hierarchy to follow. A faceted search system might have a series of pulldown menus that guide a user from the broad category of “Iraq” to “Iraq -> Geography”, to “Iraq -> Geography -> Maps” to “Iraq -> Geography -> Maps -> Baghdad.” Endeca is one vendor that provides faceted searching.

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