BCS is a registered charity: No 292786
BCS IRSG Symposium: Future Directions in Information Access 2007
Glasgow, 28 - 29 August 2007
This paper discusses how mass digitisation of music has led to an emerging discipline of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), which has focussed more on systems than on users, and identifies the area of information need for work purposes as a focus for planned research. A literature review provides an overview of developments in MIR, pointing out its multidisciplinary nature, which causes problems in evaluation and retrieval.
Two types of systems, content-based and context-based are discussed, and it is suggested that each type meets differing user needs depending on the level of specialist or interest of the user and that information behaviour and need differs according to the type of user. Evaluation is discussed, suggesting there are historical links with text retrieval while proposing music retrieval has sufficient additional complexities to justify its own discipline.
A discussion of user research suggests that both content and context should be considered, and that different users respond in different ways to music, leading to the requirement for systems which reflect a variety of approaches and interpretations, needs and uses. It is proposed that a range of music industry professionals are interviewed using semi-structured interviews, and observation in order to investigate their information needs and behaviour, and that the systems they use are evaluated by existing techniques of precision and recall as well as from interview and observation data. Interview questions will be based on a semiotic music analysis framework.
Analysis and discussion of the data will be by reference to existing information need models and a reflexive communication model while a cognitive information seeking and retrieval model will ground the research in current thinking. It is planned that the analysis will allow the researcher to determine whether an ideal MIR system can serve the needs of the music industry professional. Finally discussion issues are raised which highlight the holistic focus and interdisciplinary approach of the project.