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Refereed Papers

Track: Search Potpourri

Paper Title: Navigation-Aided Retrieval

Authors:

  • Shashank Pandit (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Christopher Olston (Yahoo! Research)

Abstract:
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.

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