For thousands of years people have realized the importance of archiving and finding information. With the advent of computers, it became possible to store large amounts of information; and finding useful information from such collections became a necessity. The field of Information Retrieval (IR) was born in the 1950s out of this necessity. Over the last forty years, the field has matured considerably. Several IR systems are used on an everyday basis by a wide variety of users. This article is a brief overview of the key advances in the field of Information Retrieval, and a description of where the state-of-the-art is at in the field.
BULLETIN OF THE IEEE COMPUTER SOCIETY TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON DATA ENGINEERING