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Re-examining the potential effectiveness of interactive query expansion

Ruthven, I. (2003) Re-examining the potential effectiveness of interactive query expansion. In: 26th Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval, 2003-07-28 - 2003-08-01.

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Much attention has been paid to the relative effectiveness of interactive query expansion versus automatic query expansion. Although interactive query expansion has the potential to be an effective means of improving a search, in this paper we show that, on average, human searchers are less likely than systems to make good expansion decisions. To enable good expansion decisions, searchers must have adequate instructions on how to use interactive query expansion functionalities. We show that simple instructions on using interactive query expansion do not necessarily help searchers make good expansion decisions and discuss difficulties found in making query expansion decisions.