NESSIE Release Two
We have made quite a number of changes in Release Two. The most significant changes are: new Customer Interface, user login and logout through the use of sessions, user adding and modification, two independent searching methods - MCRDR search and Keyword search, detailed session logging and finally a Hyperlink feature.
The keyword search is able to recognize boolean expressions involving conjunctions and disjunctions such as AND and OR, as well as exact phrases. After parsing the input, the keyword search matches the input with question titles and descriptions. The search takes into account NESSIE's dictionary of synonyms and NESSIE'sdictionary of irrelevant common words and produces a list of results ordered on their rating (from 0% to 100%).
The rating is given to each result based on how closely it matches the query. If a word is found at the beginning of the question then that result is given a higher rating than a result where the word was found at the end of the description.
MCRDR stands for Multiple Classification Ripple Down Rules, and is an Artificial Intelligence technique for intelligent searching. It was implemented with a "callback" extension, such that it will actually prompt the user for search keywords that it thinks they probably wanted to include. In this way it is possible for it to provide very meaningful results. MCRDR also supports the synonym matching that is found in the keyword search.
The session logging facility produces meaningful logs from any users actions. Every time a user starts a session (logs on) all their proceeding actions are recorded in a new log-file. These logs can then be processed by the engine to generate useful reports for the administrators, and can even be used to dynamic updating of the system.
NESSIE now makes use of user accounts. They are separated into three types, Customer, Operator and Administrator. User accounts were necessary to keep logs of all user actions.
An administrator has complete control over all accounts in the system, and all knowledge stored by NESSIE. An administrator can create new users of any type and modify user information at any time. An administrator is also able to remove users from the system.
Operator accounts will be issued to help desk operators who will be able to add knowledge to the system and help customers solve their problem. Customers can create their own accounts which enable them to access NESSIE. Customers are only able to view information within NESSIE, helping them to solve their problems.
Logging in and New Users
Release 2 comes with logging in capabilities and user recognition. This allows different user types and also allows for special features for administrators and operators. New users can also sign up to the system via the sign up interface that can be accessed from the login page. These new users are all assigned as customers. This allows many new users to join without having to go through the help desk and so special privileges are not distributed without the proper authorisation.
All relevant user data, when logged in, is controlled via the use of sessions in php. This allows easy manipulation of user data and content kept private and inaccessible.