How Does Your Model Grow? An Empirical Investigation of the Effects of Ontological Clarity and Application Domain Size on Query Performance
Semantic data models provide a map of the components of an information system. The characteristics of these models affect their usefulness for various tasks (e.g., information retrieval). The quality of information retrieval has obvious important consequences, both economic and otherwise. Traditionally, data base designers have produced parsimonious logical data models. In spite of their increased size, ontologically clearer conceptual models have been shown to facilitate better performance for both problem solving and information retrieval tasks in experimental settings. The experiments producing evidence of enhanced performance for ontologically clearer models have, however, used application domains of modest size. Data models in organizational settings are likely to be substantially larger than those used in these experiments. This research used an experiment to investigate whether the benefits of improved information retrieval performance associated with ontologically clearer models are robust as the size of the application domains increase. The experiment used an application domain of approximately twice the size as tested in prior experiments. The results indicate that, relative to the users of the parsimonious implementation, end users of the ontologically clearer implementation made significantly more semantic errors, took significantly more time to compose their queries, and were significantly less confident in the accuracy of their queries.
Bowen, Paul; O'Farrell, Robert; and Rohde, Fiona, "How Does Your Model Grow? An Empirical Investigation of the Effects of Ontological Clarity and Application Domain Size on Query Performance" (2004). ICIS 2004 Proceedings. 7.