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Supporting interactive summarization for explainable exploratory search

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Title: Supporting interactive summarization for explainable exploratory search
Author(s): Li, Jing
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, none
Discipline: none
Degree program: Master's Programme in Computer Science
Specialisation: Networking and Services
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2020
Exploratory search is characterised by user uncertainty with respect to search domain and information seeking goals. This uncertainty can negatively impact users’ abilities to assess the quality of search results, causing them to scroll through more documents than necessary and struggle to give consistent relevance feedback. As users’ information needs are assumed to be highly dynamic and expected to evolve over time, successful searches can be indistinguishable from those that have drifted erroneously away from their original search intent. Indeed, given their lack of domain knowledge, searchers may be slow, or even unable, to recognise when search results have become skewed towards another topic. With these issues in mind, we designed and implemented an interactive search system which integrated a keyword summaries algorithm, Exploratory Search Captions (ESC) to support users in exploratory search. This thesis investigated into the usefulness of ESC in terms of user experience, user behaviour and also explored impact of design decision in terms of user satisfaction. We evaluated the ESC system with a user study in the context of exploratory search of scientific literature in Computer Science. According to the user study results, participants almost unanimously preferred the retrieval system that incorporated ESC; and the presence of captions dramatically impacts user behaviour: users issue more queries, investigate fewer documents per query, but see more documents overall. We demonstrated the usefulness of ESC, the improved usability of ESC system, and the positive impact of our design decisions.
Keyword(s): exploratory search user study keyword summaries

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