Browsing by Subject "relevance feedback"

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  • Medlar, Alan; Glowacka, Dorota (ACM, 2018)
    Search activities involving knowledge acquisition, investigation and synthesis are collectively known as exploratory search. Exploratory search is challenging for users, who may be unable to formulate search queries, have ill-defined search goals or may even struggle to understand search results. To ameliorate these difficulties, reinforcement learning-based information retrieval systems were developed to provide adaptive support to users. Reinforcement learning is used to build a model of user intent based on relevance feedback provided by the user. But how reliable is relevance feedback in this context? To answer this question, we developed a novel permutation-based metric for scoring the consistency of relevance feedback. We used this metric to perform a retrospective analysis of interaction data from lookup and exploratory search experiments. Our analysis shows that for lookup search relevance judgments are highly consistent, supporting previous findings that relevance feedback improves retrieval performance. For exploratory search, however, the distribution of consistency scores shows considerable inconsistency.
  • Tripathi, Dhruv; Medlar, Alan; Glowacka, Dorota (ACM, 2019)
    Retrieval systems based on machine learning require both positive and negative examples to perform inference, which is usually obtained through relevance feedback. Unfortunately, explicit negative relevance feedback is thought to have poor user experience. Instead, systems typically rely on implicit negative feedback. In this study, we confirm that, in the case of binary relevance feedback, users prefer giving positive feedback ( and implicit negative feedback) over negative feedback ( and implicit positive feedback). These two feedback mechanisms are functionally equivalent, capturing the same information from the user, but differ in how they are framed. Despite users' preference for positive feedback, there were no significant differences in behaviour. As users were not shown how feedback influenced search results, we hypothesise that previously reported results could, at least in part, be due to cognitive biases related to user perception of negative feedback.