E-Discovery and Transparency

One change I’m thinking of making to this blog is to introduce “quick bites” as a way of mentioning interesting sites or articles I’ve come across without going into deep analysis. Here’s a first one to give you a flavor of the concept. Let me know what you think.

I just read an article on how courts will tolerate search inaccuracies in e-Discovery by way of Curt Monash. It reminded me of our recent discussion of transparency in information retrieval. I agree that “explanations of [search] algorithms are of questionable value” for convincing a court of the relevance and accuracy of the results. But that’s because those algorithms aren’t sufficiently intuitive for those explanations to be meaningful except in a theoretical sense to an information retreival researcher.

I realize that user-entered Boolean queries (the traditional approach to e-Discovery) aren’t effective because users aren’t great at composing queries for set retrieval. But that’s why machines need to help users with query elaboration–a topic for an upcoming post.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

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