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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2000

Amanda Spink, Bernard J. Jansen and H. Cenk Ozmultu

Examines the use of query reformulation, and particularly the use of relevance feedback by users of the Excite Web search engine. A total of 985 user search sessions from…

Abstract

Examines the use of query reformulation, and particularly the use of relevance feedback by users of the Excite Web search engine. A total of 985 user search sessions from a data set of 18,113 user search sessions containing 51,473 queries were examined. Includes a qualitative and quantitative analysis of 191 user sessions including more than one query, to examine patterns of user query reformulation; and second, all 804 user sessions including relevance feedback were examined. Results show limited use of query reformulation and relevance feedback by Excite users – only one in five users reformulated queries. Most relevance feedback sessions were successful. Identifies the most common pattern of searching and discusses implications for Web search system design.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

H. Cenk Ozmutlu, Fatih Cavdur and Seda Ozmutlu

Content analysis of search engine user queries is an important task, since successful exploitation of the content of queries can result in the design of efficient…

Abstract

Purpose

Content analysis of search engine user queries is an important task, since successful exploitation of the content of queries can result in the design of efficient information retrieval algorithms of search engines, which can offer custom‐tailored services to the web user. Identification of topic changes within a user search session is a key issue in content analysis of search engine user queries. The purpose of this study is to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies genetic algorithms and Dempster‐Shafer theory, proposed by He et al., to automatically identify topic changes in a user session by using statistical characteristics of queries, such as time intervals and query reformulation patterns. A sample data log from the Norwegian search engine FAST (currently owned by overture) is selected to apply Dempster‐Shafer theory and genetic algorithms for identifying topic changes in the data log.

Findings

As a result, 97.7 percent of topic shifts and 87.2 percent of topic continuations were estimated correctly. The findings are consistent with the previous application of the Dempster‐Shafer theory and genetic algorithms on a different search engine data log. This finding could be implied as an indication that content‐ignorant topic identification, using query patterns and time intervals, is a promising line of research.

Originality/value

Studies an important dimension of user behavior in information retrieval.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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