Combining relevance information in a synchronous collaborative information retrieval environment
Foley, Colum and Smeaton, Alan F. and Jones, Gareth J.F. (2008) Combining relevance information in a synchronous collaborative information retrieval environment. In: Chevalier, Max and Julien, Christine and Soule-Dupuy, Chantal, (eds.) Collaborative and Social Information Retrieval and Access: Techniques for Improved User Modeling. IGI Global. ISBN 978-1-60566-306-7
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Traditionally information retrieval (IR) research has focussed on a single user interaction modality, where a user searches to satisfy an information need. Recent
advances in both web technologies, such as the sociable web of Web 2.0, and computer hardware, such as tabletop interface devices, have enabled multiple users to collaborate on many computer-related tasks. Due to these advances there is an increasing need to support
two or more users searching together at the same time, in order to satisfy a shared information need, which we refer to as Synchronous Collaborative Information Retrieval.
Synchronous Collaborative Information Retrieval (SCIR) represents a significant paradigmatic shift from traditional IR systems. In order to support an effective SCIR search, new techniques are required to coordinate users' activities. In this chapter we explore the effectiveness of a sharing of knowledge policy on a collaborating group. Sharing of knowledge refers to the process of passing relevance information across users,
if one user finds items of relevance to the search task then the group should benefit in the form of improved ranked lists returned to each searcher.
In order to evaluate the proposed techniques we simulate two users searching together through an incremental feedback system. The simulation assumes that users decide on an initial query with which to begin the collaborative search and proceed through the search by providing relevance judgments to the system and receiving a new ranked list. In order to populate these simulations we extract data from the interaction logs of various
experimental IR systems from previous Text REtrieval Conference (TREC) workshops.
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