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Users seeking information in distributed environments of large numbers of disparate information resources are often burdened with the task of repeating their queries for each and every resource. Invariably, some of the searched resources are more productive (yield more useful documents) than others, and it would be undoubtedly useful to try these resources rst. If the environment is federated and a single search tool is used to process the query against all the disparate resources, then a similar issue arises: Which information resources should be searched rst, to guarantee that useful answers are streamed to users in a timely fashion.
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