Data abstraction and query processing techniques are usually studied in the domain of administrative applications. We present a case-study in the non-standard domain of (multimedia) information retrieval, mainly intended as a feasibility study in favor of the `database approach' to data management. Top-N queries form a natural query class when dealing with content retrieval. In the IR field, a lot of research has been done on processing top-N queries efficiently. Unfortunately, these results cannot directly be ported to the database environment, because their tuple-oriented nature would seriously limit the freedom of the query optimizer to select appropriate query plans. By horizontally fragmenting our database containing document statistics, we are able to combine some of the best of the IR and database optimization principles, providing good retrieval quality as well as database `goodies' like flexibility, scalability, efficiency, and generality. Key issues we address in this paper concern the effects of our fragmentation approach on speed and quality of the answers, opportunities for scalability, supported by experimental results.

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Lecture Notes in Computer Science
British National Conference on Databases
Database Architectures

Blok, H. E., de Vries, A., Blanken, H. M., & Apers, P. (2001). Experiences with IR Top N optimization in a main memory DBMS: applying `the database approach' in new domains. In Proceedings of British National Conference on Databases 2001 (18) (pp. 126–151). Springer.