Narrow or Broad? Estimating Subjective Specificity in Exploratory Search

Kumaripaba Athukorala, Antti Oulasvirta, Dorota Glowacka, Jilles Vreeken, Giulio Jacucci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Supporting exploratory search is a very challenging problem, not least because of the dynamic nature of the exercise: both the knowledge and interests of the user are subject to constant change. Moreover, whether the results for a query are informative is strongly subjective. What is informative to one user, is too specific for the other; specificity differs between users depending on their intent and accumulated knowledge about the domain.
We propose a formal model—motivated by Information Foraging Theory—for predicting the subjective specificity of search results based on simple observables such as result- clicks. Through two studies including both controlled and free-form exploratory search we show our model allows us to differentiate between levels of subjective result specificity with regard to the current information need of the user.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIKM'14 - ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management
Publication date2 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventUnknown host publication - , China
Duration: 3 Nov 20147 Nov 2014

Fields of Science

  • 113 Computer and information sciences

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