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  • With the increasing number and diversity of search tools available, interest in the evaluation of search systems, particularly from a user perspective, has grown among researchers. More researchers are designing and evaluating interactive information retrieval (IIR) systems and beginning to innovate in evaluation methods. Maturation of a research specialty relies on the ability to replicate research, provide standards for measurement and analysis, and understand past endeavors. This article presents a historical overview of 40 years of IIR evaluation studies using the method of systematic review. A total of 2,791 journal and conference units were manually examined and 127 articles were selected for analysis in this study, based on predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. These articles were systematically coded using features such as author, publication date, sources and references, and properties of the research method used in the articles, such as number of subjects, tasks, corpora, and measures. Results include data describing the growth of IIR studies over time, the most frequently occurring and cited authors and sources, and the most common types of corpora and measures used. An additional product of this research is a bibliography of IIR evaluation research that can be used by students, teachers, and those new to the area. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first historical, systematic characterization of the IIR evaluation literature, including the documentation of methods and measures used by researchers in this specialty.

  • Traditional editorial effectiveness measures, such as nDCG, remain standard for Web search evaluation. Unfortunately, these traditional measures can inappropriately reward redundant information and can fail to reflect the broad range of user needs that can underlie a Web query. To address these deficiencies, several researchers have recently proposed effectiveness measures for novelty and diversity. Many of these measures are based on simple cascade models of user behavior, which operate by considering the relationship between successive elements of a result list. The properties of these measures are still poorly understood, and it is not clear from prior research that they work as intended. In this paper we examine the properties and performance of cascade measures with the goal of validating them as tools for measuring effectiveness. We explore their commonalities and differences, placing them in a unified framework; we discuss their theoretical difficulties and limitations, and compare the measures experimentally, contrasting them against traditional measures and against other approaches to measuring novelty. Data collected by the TREC 2009 Web Track is used as the basis for our experimental comparison. Our results indicate that these measures reward systems that achieve an balance between novelty and overall precision in their result lists, as intended. Nonetheless, other measures provide insights not captured by the cascade measures, and we suggest that future evaluation efforts continue to report a variety of measures.

  • Faceted browsing is a common feature of new library catalog interfaces. But to what extent does it improve user performance in searching within today’s library catalog systems? This article reviews the literature for user studies involving faceted browsing and user studies of “next-generation” library catalogs that incorporate faceted browsing. Both the results and the methods of these studies are analyzed by asking, What do we currently know about faceted browsing? How can we design better studies of faceted browsing in library catalogs? The article proposes methodological considerations for practicing librarians and provides examples of goals, tasks, and measurements for user studies of faceted browsing in library catalogs.

  • Introduction. This paper examines the continued usefulness of Kuhlthau's Information Search Process as a model of information behaviour in new, technologically rich information environments. Method. A comprehensive review of research that has explored the model in various settings and a study employing qualitative and quantitative methods undertaken in the context of an inquiry project among school students (n=574). Students were interviewed at three stages of the information search process, during which nine feelings were identified and tracked. Results. Findings show individual patterns, but confirm the Information Search Process as a valid model in the changing information environment for describing information behaviour in tasks that require knowledge construction. The findings support the progression of feelings, thoughts and actions as suggested by the search process model. Conclusions. The information search process model remains useful for explaining students' information behaviour. The model was found to have value as a research tool as well as for practical application.

  • All is flux. —Plato on Knowledge in the Theaetetus (about 369 BC) Relevance is a, if not even the, key notion in information science in general and information retrieval in particular. This two-part critical review traces and synthesizes the scholarship on relevance over the past 30 years or so and provides an updated framework within which the still widely dissonant ideas and works about relevance might be interpreted and related. It is a continuation and update of a similar review that appeared in 1975 under the same title, considered here as being Part I. The present review is organized in two parts: Part II addresses the questions related to nature and manifestations of relevance, and Part III addresses questions related to relevance behavior and effects. In Part II, the nature of relevance is discussed in terms of meaning ascribed to relevance, theories used or proposed, and models that have been developed. The manifestations of relevance are classified as to several kinds of relevance that form an interdependent system of relevancies. In Part III, relevance behavior and effects are synthesized using experimental and observational works that incorporated data. In both parts, each section concludes with a summary that in effect provides an interpretation and synthesis of contemporary thinking on the topic treated or suggests hypotheses for future research. Analyses of some of the major trends that shape relevance work are offered in conclusions.

Last update from database: 2022-08-17, 1:42 a.m. (EST)