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The Effects of Topic Familiarity on User Search Behavior in Question Answering Systems

  • This paper reports on experiments that attempt to characterize the relationship between users and their knowledge of the search topic in a Question Answering (QA) system. It also investigates user search behavior with respect to the length of answers presented by a QA system. Two lengths of answers were compared; snippets (one to two sentences of text) and exact answers. A user test was conducted, 92 factoid questions were judged by 44 participants, to explore the participants’ preferences, feelings and opinions about QA system tasks. The conclusions drawn from the results were that participants preferred and obtained higher accuracy in finding answers from the snippets set. However, accuracy varied according to users’ topic familiarity; users were only substantially helped by the wider context of a snippet if they were already familiar with the topic of the question, without such familiarity, users were about as accurate at locating answers from the snippets as they were in exact set.

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Author:Azzah Al-Maskari, Mark Sanderson
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Date of Publication (online):2011/04/15
Contributing Corporation:Dept. of Information Studies University of Sheffield UK
Release Date:2011/04/15
Source:LWA 2006: Lernen - Wissensentdeckung - Adaptivität, Hildesheim, 9. - 11. Oktober 2006
PPN:Link zum Katalog
Contributor:Althoff, Klaus-Dieter
Institutes:Fachbereich IV / Informatik
DDC classes:000 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 000 Allgemeines, Wissenschaft / 004 Informatik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht