A model for estimating the savings from dimensional vs. keyword search

Karen Corral, David Schuff, Robert St Louis, Ozgur Turetken

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Inefficient and ineffective search is widely recognized as a problem for businesses. The shortcomings of keyword searches have been elaborated upon by many authors, and many enhancements to keyword searches have been proposed. To date, however, no one has provided a quantitative model or systematic process for evaluating the savings that accrue from enhanced search procedures. This paper presents a model for estimating the total cost to a company of relying on keyword searches versus a dimensional search approach. The model is based on the Zipf-Mandelbrot law in quantitative linguistics. Our analysis of the model shows that a surprisingly small number of searches are required to justify the cost associated with encoding the metadata necessary to support a dimensional search engine. The results imply that it is cost effective for almost any business organization to implement a dimensional search strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Principles for Improving Database Design, Systems Modeling, and Software Development
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781605661728
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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