Fading Away: Dilution and User Behaviour
CSIRO and Australian National University,
School of Computer Science and Information Technology,
Victoria 3001, Australia.
Department of Computing and Information Systems,
The University of Melbourne,
Victoria 3010, Australia.
Proc. 3rd European Wrkshp. on Human-Computer Interaction
and Information Retrieval,
Dublin, July 2013, pages 3-6.
When faced with a poor set of document summaries on the first page of
returned search results, a user may respond in various ways: by
proceeding on to the next page of results; by entering another query;
by switching to another service; or by abandoning their search.
We analyse this aspect of searcher behaviour using a commercial
search system, comparing a deliberately degraded system to the
Our results demonstrate that searchers naturally avoid selecting poor
results as answers given the degraded system; however, the depth of
the ranking that they view, their query reformulation rate, and the
amount of time required to complete search tasks, are all remarkably