ASIS&T 2013 Annual Meeting 
Montrťal, Quťbec, Canada | November 1-6, 2013

Supporting Exploratory Search Tasks with Interactive User Modelling

Tuukka Ruotsalo, Kumaripaba Athukorala
Dorota Glowacka, Ksenia Konyushkova
Antti Oulasvirta, University of Helsinki
Samuli Kaipiainen, University of Helsinki
Samuel Kaski, University of Helsinki
Giulio Jacucci, University of Helsinki

Monday, 1:30pm


This paper presents the design and study of interactive user modeling to support exploratory search tasks. Contrary to traditional interactions, such as query based search, query suggestions, or relevance feedback, interactive user modeling allows users to perceive the state of a user model at all times and provide feedback that directly rewards or penalizes it. The technique allows users to continuously tune the systemís belief about their evolving information needs. We demonstrate that such functionality is useful in exploratory search where users need to get accustomed to a body of literature in a domain. We conducted two experiments where scientists carried out exploratory search tasks with our implementation of an interactive user modeling and retrieval system (SciNet) and two baselines: SciNet from which interactive user modeling was excluded and a real-world baseline (Google Scholar). The results show that interactive user modeling can help users to more effectively find relevant, novel and diverse results without compromises in task execution time.