Observing Users to Validate Models (Extended Abstract)

Falk Scholer
School of Computer Science and Information Technology, RMIT University, Victoria 3001, Australia.

Paul Thomas
CSIRO and Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Alistair Moffat
Department of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


SIGIR 2013 Wrkshp. on Modeling User Behavior for Information Retrieval Evaluation (MUBE 2013), Dublin, August 2013.


User models serve two purposes: to help us understand users, and hence determine how to supply them with effective search services; and as a framework against which to evaluate the quality of those services once they have been developed. In this extended abstract we describe an experiment we have undertaken in which we observe user behaviours, and try to determine whether these behaviours can be connected to search quality metrics via an existing or novel user model. We provide summary evidence that suggests that the answer is a qualified "yes".

Full text