Toward automatic facet analysis and need negotiation

Jimmy Lin, Philip Wu, Eileen Abels
2008 ACM Transactions on Information Systems  
This work explores the hypothesis that interactions between a trained human search intermediary and an information seeker can inform the design of interactive IR systems. We discuss results from a controlled Wizard-of-Oz case study, set in the context of the TREC 2005 HARD track evaluation, in which a trained intermediary executed an integrated search and interaction strategy based on conceptual facet analysis and informed by need negotiation techniques common in reference interviews. Having a
more » ... uman "in the loop" yielded large improvements over fully-automated systems as measured by standard ranked-retrieval metrics, demonstrating the value of mediated search. We present a detailed analysis of the intermediary's actions to gain a deeper understanding of what worked and why. One contribution is a taxonomy of clarification types informed both by empirical results and existing theories in library and information science. We discuss how these findings can guide the development of future systems. Overall, this work illustrates how studying humaninformation seeking processes can lead to better information retrieval applications.
doi:10.1145/1416950.1416956 fatcat:spdexizcibaahpbvjzjjpj4b4e