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di Sciascio Maria Cecilia, Sabol Vedran, Veas Eduardo Enrique

Rank As You Go: User-Driven Exploration of Search Results

ACM IUI 2016, ACM New York, NY, USA ©201, New York, 2016

Whenever users engage in gathering and organizing new information, searching and browsing activities emerge at the core of the exploration process. As the process unfolds and new knowledge is acquired, interest drifts occur inevitably and need to be accounted for. Despite the advances in retrieval and recommender algorithms, real-world interfaces have remained largely unchanged: results are delivered in a relevance-ranked list. However, it quickly becomes cumbersome to reorganize resources along new interests, as any new search brings new results. We introduce uRank and investigate interactive methods for understanding, refining and reorganizing documents on-the-fly as information needs evolve. uRank includes views summarizing the contents of a recommendation set and interactive methods conveying the role of users' interests through a recommendation ranking. A formal evaluation showed that gathering items relevant to a particular topic of interest with uRank incurs in lower cognitive load compared to a traditional ranked list. A second study consisting in an ecological validation reports on usage patterns and usability of the various interaction techniques within a free, more natural setting.
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