Advances in formal models of search and search behaviour

Azzopardi, Leif and Zuccon, Guido; (2016) Advances in formal models of search and search behaviour. In: Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Conference on the Theory of Information Retrieval. ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-4. ISBN 9781450344975 (

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Searching is performed in the context of a task and as such the value of the information found is with respect to the task. Recently, there has been a drive to developing formal models of information seeking and retrieval that consider the costs and benefits arising through the interaction with the interface/system and the information surfaced during that interaction. In this full day tutorial we will focus on describing and explaining some of the more recent and latest formal models of Information Seeking and Retrieval. The tutorial is structured into two parts. In the first part we will present a series of models that have been developed based on: (i) economic theory, (ii) decision theory (iii) game theory and (iv) optimal foraging theory. The second part of the day will be dedicated to building models where we will discuss different techniques to build and develop models from which we can draw testable hypotheses from. During the tutorial participants will be challenged to develop various formals models, applying the techniques learnt during the day. We will then conclude with presentations on solutions followed by a summary and overview of challenges and future directions. This tutorial is aimed at participants wanting to know more about the various formal models of information seeking, search and retrieval, that have been proposed. The tutorial will be presented at an intermediate level, and is designed to support participants who want to be able to understand and build such models.