Users searching for information in hypermedia environments often perform querying followed by manual navigation. Yet, the conventional text/hypertext retrieval paradigm does not explicity take post-query navigation into account. This paper proposes a new retrieval paradigm, called navigation-aided retrieval (NAR), which treats both querying and navigation as first-class activities. In the NAR paradigm, querying is seen as a means to identify starting points for navigation, and navigation is guided based on information supplied in the query. NAR is a generalization of the conventional probabilistic information retrieval paradigm, which implicitly assumes no navigation takes place.
This paper presents a formal model for navigation-aided retrieval, and reports empirical results that point to the real-world applicability of the model. The experiments were performed over a large Web corpus provided by TREC, using human judgments on a new rating scale developed for navigation-aided retrieval. In the case of ambiguous queries, the new retrieval model identifies good starting points for post-query navigation. For less ambiguous queries that need not be paired with navigation, the output closely matches that of a conventional retrieval system.
Alberta, Wednesday, May 9, 2007, 10:30am to 12 noon.