The amounts of information that mankind produces are vast, running into billions of\ud documents. Traditional ways of holding this information have become impractical and so\ud methods of storage are being switched from paper and microfiche to magnetic and optical\ud discs. In the last thirty years as more information has been put onto computers, work has gone\ud into using the computer to get away from the restrictiveness of manual indexing and move\ud towards a more flexible system of information acquisition.\ud \ud Many companies exist offering (for a price) the opportunity to access the information stored on\ud their systems. Unfortunately, most of these companies use software that was developed in the\ud sixties when the field of information retrieval (IR) was still very young. This means that the\ud services they offer are rather primitive. The Financial Times’ IR service, Profile is typical of\ud such commercial systems. It has been the aim of the NRT project to investigate ways of\ud incorporating the new ideas in IR, that have occurred in the last ten to fifteen years, into Profile
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