Automatic Construction of Multifaceted Browsing Interfaces

Databases of text and text-annotated data constitute a significant fraction of the information available in electronic form.


Searching and browsing are the typical ways that users locate items of interest in such databases.  Interfaces that use multifaceted hierarchies represent a new powerful browsing paradigm which has been proven to be a successful complement to keyword searching.  Thus far, multifaceted hierarchies have been created manually or semi-automatically, making it difficult to deploy multifaceted interfaces over a large number of databases.  We present automatic and scalable methods for creation of multifaceted interfaces.  Our methods are integrated with traditional relational databases and can scale well for large databases.  Furthermore, we present methods for selecting the best portions of the generated hierarchies when the screen space is not sufficient for displaying all the hierarchy at once.  We apply our technique to a range of large data sets, including annotated images, television programming schedules, and web pages.  The results are promising and suggest directions for future research.