Understanding Query Combination Behavior in Exploratory Searches

Pengfei Li, Yin Zhang, Bin Zhang
2022 Applied Sciences  
In exploratory search, users sometimes combine two or more issued queries into new queries. We present such a kind of search behavior as query combination behavior. We find that the queries after combination usually can better meet users' information needs. We also observe that users combine queries for different motivations, which leads to different types of query combination behaviors. Previous work on understanding user exploratory search behaviors has focused on how people reformulate
more » ... s, but not on how and why they combine queries. Being able to answer these questions is important for exploring how users search and learn during information retrieval processes and further developing support to assist searchers. In this paper, we first describe a two-layer hierarchical structure for understanding the space of query combination behavior types. We manually classify query combination behavior sessions from AOL and Sogou search engines and explain the relationship from combining queries to success. We then characterize some key aspects of this behavior and propose a classifier that can automatically classify types of query combination behavior using behavioral features. Finally, we summarize our findings and show how search engines can better assist searchers.
doi:10.3390/app12020706 fatcat:p5j4p6v3cfajtbzof3mjjqa56e