Information retrieval (IR) deals with the representation, storage, organization of, and access to information items. Given the user query, the key goal of an IR system is to retrieve information which might be useful or relevant to the user.
Information Retrieval is concerned with facilitating
users' access to large amounts of (predominantly textual) information.
Typically, IR systems address the technical issues of representing the
documents that comprise its collection, of representing the user-initiated
queries, and of performing the calculations required to retrieve the appropriate
documents. User interfaces to these systems range from command-line queries
(e.g., Salton and McGill, 1983) to more sophisticated browsing environments
(e.g., Remde et al., 1987; Hearst, 1995).