Building economic models and measures of search

Azzopardi, Leif and Moffat, Alistair and Thomas, Paul and Zuccon, Guido; (2019) Building economic models and measures of search. In: SIGIR 2019 - Proceedings of the 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. SIGIR 2019 - Proceedings of the 42nd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval . ACM, FRA, pp. 1401-1402. ISBN 9781450361729

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    Abstract

    Economics provides an intuitive and natural way to formally represent the costs and benefits of interacting with applications, interfaces and devices. By using economic models it is possible to reason about interaction, make predictions about how changes to the system will affect behavior, and measure the performance of people's interactions with the system. In this tutorial, we first provide an overview of relevant economic theories, before showing how they can be applied to formulate different ranking principles to provide the optimal ranking to users. This is followed by a session showing how economics can be used to model how people interact with search systems, and how to use these models to generate hypotheses about user behavior. The third session focuses on how economics has been used to underpin the measurement of information retrieval systems and applications using the C/W/L framework (which reports the expected utility, expected total utility, expected total cost, and so on) - and how different models of user interaction lead to different metrics. We then show how information foraging theory can be used to measure the performance of an information retrieval system - connecting the theory of how people search with how we measure it. The final session of the day will be spent building economic models and measures of search. Here sample problems will be provided to challenge participants, or participants can bring their own.