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Month: January 2020

Connecting information need to recommendations

Connecting information need to recommendations

A new article published by InfoSeekers Shawon Sarkar, Matt Mitsui, Jiqun Liu, and Chirag Shah in the Journal of Information Processing and Management (IP&M), shows how we could use behavioral signals from a user in a search episode to explicate their information need, their perceived problems, and the potential help they may need.

Here are some highlights.

  • The amount of time spent on previous search results could be an indicator of potential problems in articulation of needs into queries, perceiving useless results, and not getting useful sources in the following search stage in an information search process.
  • While performing social tasks, users mostly searched with an entirely new query, whereas, for cognitive and moderate to high complexity tasks, users used both new and substituted queries as well.
  • From users’ search behaviors, it is possible to predict the potential problem that they are going to face in the future.
  • User’s search behaviors can map an information searcher’s situational need, along with his/her perception of barriers and helps in different stages of an information search process.
  • By combining perceived problem(s) and search behavioral features, it is possible to infer users’ needed help(s) in search with a certain level of accuracy (78%).

Read more about it at