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A study of factors affecting the utility of implicit relevance feedback

White, R.W. and Ruthven, I. and Jose, J.M. (2005) A study of factors affecting the utility of implicit relevance feedback. In: Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. ACM Press, pp. 35-42. ISBN 1-59593-034-5

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Abstract

Implicit relevance feedback (IRF) is the process by which a search system unobtrusively gathers evidence on searcher interests from their interaction with the system. IRF is a new method of gathering information on user interest and, if IRF is to be used in operational IR systems, it is important to establish when it performs well and when it performs poorly. In this paper we investigate how the use and effectiveness of IRF is affected by three factors: search task complexity, the search experience of the user and the stage in the search. Our findings suggest that all three of these factors contribute to the utility of IRF.