How Do Users Find Things with PubMed? Towards Automatic Utility Evaluation with User Simulations
MARYLAND UNIV COLLEGE PARK HUMAN COMPUTER INTERACTION LAB
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In the context of document retrieval in the biomedical domain, this paper explores the complex relationship between the quality of initial query results and the overall utility of an interactive system. We demonstrate that a content-similarity browsing tool can compensate for poor retrieval results, and that the relationship between retrieval performance and overall utility is non-linear. Arguments are advanced with user simulations, which characterize the relevance of documents that a user might encounter with different browsing strategies. With broader implications to IR, this work provides a case study of how user simulations can be exploited as a formative tool for automatic utility evaluation. Simulation-based studies provide researchers with an additional evaluation tool to complement interactive and Cranfield-style experiments.
- Information Science
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems