Gene Golovchinsky, Ph.D.

In Memoriam, 1965 - 2013

Gene Golovchinsky

Before his untimely passing in 2013, Gene was an active research scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval community.  His work on Collaborative Exploratory Search and Querium sought to help people satisfy complex collaborative information seeking needs such as those that occur during e-discovery, academic research, and intelligence analysis.

Before that, Gene was the project leader and lead architect of the DICE usable conference room system, which controlled a variety of devices and applications to support users’ tasks in conference rooms, and the ReBoard whiteboard capture and retrieval system.  He also worked on collaborative data collection systems, web services platforms for mobile computing, distributed annotation systems, and freeform digital ink annotation for tablet computers.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he worked on a variety of pioneering pen-based tablet applications, including a pen-based document reader for an In-Q-Tel contract, and the XLibris active reading appliance. He also designed a client-server annotation storage architecture prototype in use in Fuji Xerox’s DocuWorks/ArcSuite product.

Before joining FXPAL in 1996, Gene earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles and Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Interactive Media Lab, part of the Human Factors/Ergonomics area at the University of Toronto.

Co-Authors

Publications

2016

Beyond Actions: Exploring the Discovery of Tactics from User Logs

Publication Details
  • Information Processing & Management
  • Jun 11, 2016

Abstract

Close
Search log analysis has become a common practice to gain insights into user search behaviour, it helps gain an understanding of user needs and preferences, as well as how well a system supports such needs. Currently log analysis is typically focused on the low-level user actions, i.e. logged events such as issued queries and clicked results; and often only a selection of such events are logged and analysed. However, the types of logged events may differ widely from interface to interface, making comparison between systems difficult. Further, analysing a selection of events may lead to conclusions out of context— e.g. the statistics of observed query reformulations may be influenced by the existence of a relevance feedback component. Alternatively, in lab studies user activities can be analysed at a higher level, such as search tactics and strategies, abstracted away from detailed interface implementation. However, the required manual codings that map logged events to higher level interpretations prevent this type of analysis from going large scale. In this paper, we propose a new method for analysing search logs by (semi-)automatically identifying user search tactics from logged events, allowing large scale analysis that is comparable across search systems. We validate the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed tactic identification method using logs of two reference search systems of different natures: a product search system and a video search system. With the identified tactics, we perform a series of novel log analyses in terms of entropy rate of user search tactic sequences, demonstrating how this type of analysis allows comparisons of user search behaviours across systems of different nature and design. This analysis provides insights not achievable with traditional log analysis.
2014

SearchPanel: Framing Complex Search Needs

Publication Details
  • SIGIR 2014
  • Jul 6, 2014
  • pp. pp.495-504

Abstract

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People often use more than one query when searching for information. They revisit search results to re-find information and build an understanding of their search need through iterative explorations of query formulation. These tasks are not well-supported by search interfaces and web browsers. We designed and built SearchPanel, a Chrome browser extension that helps people manage their ongoing information seeking. This extension combines document and process metadata into an interactive representation of the retrieved documents that can be used for sense-making, navigation, and re-finding documents. In a real-world deployment spanning over two months, results show that SearchPanel appears to have been primarily used for complex information needs, in search sessions with long durations and high numbers of queries. The process metadata features in SearchPanel seem to be of particular importance when working on complex information needs.
2013

SearchPanel: A browser extension for managing search activity

Publication Details
  • EuroHCIR 2013
  • Aug 1, 2013

Abstract

Close
People often use more than one query when searching for information; they also revisit search results to re-find information. These tasks are not well-supported by search interfaces and web browsers. We designed and built a Chrome browser extension that helps people manage their ongoing information seeking. The extension combines document and process metadata into an interactive representation of the retrieved documents that can be used for sense-making, for navigation, and for re-finding documents.

Looking Ahead: Query Preview in Exploratory Search

Publication Details
  • SIGIR 2013
  • Jul 28, 2013

Abstract

Close
Exploratory search is a complex, iterative information seeking activity that involves running multiple queries, finding and examining many documents. We introduced a query preview interface that visualizes the distribution of newly-retrieved and re-retrieved documents prior to showing the detailed query results. When evaluating the preview control with a control condition, we found effects on both people’s information seeking behavior and improved retrieval performance. People spent more time formulating a query and were more likely to explore search results more deeply, retrieved a more diverse set of documents, and found more different relevant documents when using the preview. With more time spent on query formulation, higher quality queries were produced and as consequence the retrieval results improved; both average residual precision and recall was higher with the query preview present.

Leading People to Longer Queries

Publication Details
  • CHI 2013
  • Apr 27, 2013

Abstract

Close
Although longer queries can produce better results for information seeking tasks, people tend to type short queries. We created an interface designed to encourage people to type longer queries, and evaluated it in two Mechanical Turk experiments. Results suggest that our interface manipulation may be effective for eliciting longer queries.
2012
Publication Details
  • IIiX 2012
  • Aug 21, 2012

Abstract

Close
Exploratory search activities tend to span multiple sessions and involve finding, analyzing and evaluating information and collab-orating with others. Typical search systems, on the other hand, are designed to support a single searcher, precision-oriented search tasks. We describe a search interface and system design of a multi-session exploratory search system, discuss design challenges en-countered, and chronicle the evolution of our design. Our design describes novel displays for visualizing retrieval history infor-mation, and introduces ambient displays and persuasive elements to interactive information retrieval.

Designing a tool for exploratory information seeking

Publication Details
  • CHI 2012
  • May 5, 2012

Abstract

Close
In this paper we describe our on-going design process in building a search system designed to support people's multi-session exploratory search tasks. The system, called Querium, allows people to run queries and to examine results as do conventional search engines, but it also integrates a sophisticated search history that helps people make sense of their search activity over time. Information seeking is a cognitively demanding process that can benefit from many kinds of information, if that information is presented appropriately. Our design process has been focusing on creating displays that facilitate on-going sense-making while keeping the interaction efficient, fluid, and enjoyable.

Querium: A Session-Based Collaborative Search System

Publication Details
  • European Conference on Information Retrieval 2012
  • Apr 1, 2012

Abstract

Close
People's information-seeking can span multiple sessions, and can be collaborative in nature. Existing commercial offerings do not effectively support searchers to share, save, collaborate or revisit their information. In this demo paper we present Querium: a novel session-based collaborative search system that lets users search, share, resume and collaborate with other users. Querium provides a number of novel search features in a collaborative setting, including relevance feedback, query fusion, faceted search, and search histories
2011
Publication Details
  • ACM Multimedia Industrial Exhibit
  • Nov 28, 2011

Abstract

Close
The Active Reading Application (ARA) brings the familiar experience of writing on paper to the tablet. The application augments paper-based practices with audio, the ability to review annotations, and sharing. It is designed to make it easier to review, annotate, and comment on documents by individuals and groups. ARA incorporates several patented technologies and draws on several years of research and experimentation.

Session-based search with Querium

Publication Details
  • HCIR 2011
  • Oct 20, 2011

Abstract

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We illustrate the use of Querium, a novel search system designed to support people's collaborative and multi-session search tasks, in the context of the HCIR 2011 Search Challenge. This report demonstrates how a Querium's interface and search engine can be used to search for documents in an open-ended, exploratory task. We illustrate the use of relevance feedback, faceted search, query fusion, and the search history, as well as commenting and overview functions.

Designing for Collaboration in Information Seeking

Publication Details
  • HCIR 2011
  • Oct 19, 2011

Abstract

Close
Information seeking is often a collaborative activity that can take can take many forms; in this paper we focus on explicit, intentional collaboration of small and explore a range of design decisions that should be considered when building Human-Computer Information Retrieval (HCIR) tools that support collaboration. In particular, we are interested in exploring the interplay between algorithmic mediation of collaboration and the mediated communication among team members. We argue that certain characteristics of the group's information need call for different design decisions.

Estimation Methods for Ranking Recent Information

Publication Details
  • SIGIR2011
  • Jul 24, 2011

Abstract

Close
Temporal aspects of documents can impact relevance for certain kinds of queries. In this paper, we build on earlier work of modeling temporal information. We propose an extension to the Query Likelihood Model that incorporates query-specific information to estimate rate parameters, and we introduce a temporal factor into language model smoothing and query expansion using pseudo-relevance feedback. We evaluate these extensions using a Twitter corpus and two newspaper article collections. Results suggest that, compared to prior approaches, our models are more effective at capturing the temporal variability of relevance associated with some topics.
2010
Publication Details
  • Information Processing & Management, 46 (6), pp. 629-631
  • Nov 1, 2010

Abstract

Close
This special issue brings together papers that describe some of the many ways that collaborative information seeking manifests itself. Some papers report on collaborative practices in a range of domains, including medical (Hertzum), legal (Attfield et al.), and online Q&A (Gazan). Others propose and evaluate models of collaborative activity (Evans and Chi; Evans et al.; Wilson and schraefel; Foley and Smeaton), and others describe systems and algorithms that support collaboration in various ways (Boydell and Smyth; Fernandez-Luna et al., Halvey et al., Morris et al.; Shah et al.).

Role-based results redistribution for collaborative information retrieval

Publication Details
  • Information Processing & Management, 46 (6), pp. 773-781
  • Nov 1, 2010

Abstract

Close
We describe a new approach for algorithmic mediation of a collaborative search process. Unlike most approaches to collaborative IR, we are designing systems that mediate explicitly-defined synchronous collaboration among small groups of searchers with a shared information need. Such functionality is provided by first obtaining different rank-lists based on searchers' queries, fusing these rank-lists, and then splitting the combined list to distribute documents among collaborators according to their roles. For the work reported here, we consider the case of two people collaborating on a search. We assign them roles of Gatherer and Surveyor: the Gatherer is tasked with exploring highly promising information on a given topic, and the Surveyor is tasked with digging further to explore more diverse information. We demonstrate how our technique provides the Gatherer with high-precision results, and the Surveyor with information that is high in entropy.

Reverted Indexing for Feedback and Expansion

Publication Details
  • ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2010)
  • Oct 26, 2010

Abstract

Close
Traditional interactive information retrieval systems function by creating inverted lists, or term indexes. For every term in the vocabulary, a list is created that contains the documents in which that term occurs and its relative frequency within each document. Retrieval algorithms then use these term frequencies alongside other collection statistics to identify the matching documents for a query. In this paper, we turn the process around: instead of indexing documents, we index query result sets. First, queries are run through a chosen retrieval system. For each query, the resulting document IDs are treated as terms and the score or rank of the document is used as the frequency statistic. An index of documents retrieved by basis queries is created. We call this index a reverted index. Finally, with reverted indexes, standard retrieval algorithms can retrieve the matching queries (as results) for a set of documents (used as queries). These recovered queries can then be used to identify additional documents, or to aid the user in query formulation, selection, and feedback.
Publication Details
  • IIiX 2010
  • Aug 18, 2010

Abstract

Close
Exploratory search is a difficult activity that requires iterative interaction. This iterative process helps the searcher to understand and to refine the information need. It also generates a rich set of data that can be used effectively to reflect on what has been found (and found useful). In this paper, we describe a framework for unifying transitions among various stages of exploratory search, and show how context from one stage can be applied to the next. The framework can be used both to describe existing information-seeking interactions, and as a means of generating novel ones. We illustrate the framework with examples from a session-based exploratory search system prototype that we have built.

Making sense of Twitter Search

Publication Details
  • In Proc. CHI2010 Workshop on Microblogging: What and How Can We Learn From It? April 11, 2010
  • Apr 11, 2010

Abstract

Close
Twitter provides a search interface to its data, along the lines of traditional search engines. But the single ranked list is a poor way to represent the richly-structured Twitter data. A more structured approach that recognizes original messages, re-tweets, people, and documents as interesting constructs is more appropriate for this kind of data. In this paper, we describe a prototype for exploring search results delivered by Twitter. The design is based on our own experience with using Twitter search, and as well as on the results of an small online questionnaire.
Publication Details
  • In Proc. CHI 2010
  • Apr 10, 2010

Abstract

Close
The use of whiteboards is pervasive across a wide range of work domains. But some of the qualities that make them successful—an intuitive interface, physical working space, and easy erasure—inherently make them poor tools for archival and reuse. If whiteboard content could be made available in times and spaces beyond those supported by the whiteboard alone, how might it be appropriated? We explore this question via ReBoard, a system that automatically captures whiteboard images and makes them accessible through a novel set of user-centered access tools. Through the lens of a seven week workplace field study, we found that by enabling new workflows, ReBoard increased the value of whiteboard content for collaboration.

Exploring the Workplace Communication Ecology

Publication Details
  • In Proc. CHI 2010
  • Apr 10, 2010

Abstract

Close
The modern workplace is inherently collaborative, and this collaboration relies on effective communication among coworkers. Many communication tools – email, blogs, wikis, Twitter, etc. – have become increasingly available and accepted in workplace communications. In this paper, we report on a study of communications technologies used over a one year period in a small US corporation. We found that participants used a large number of communication tools for different purposes, and that the introduction of new tools did not impact significantly the use of previously-adopted technologies. Further, we identified distinct classes of users based on patterns of tool use. This work has implications for the design of technology in the evolving ecology of communication tools.
Publication Details
  • Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications 2010
  • Mar 22, 2010

Abstract

Close
In certain applications such as radiology and imagery analysis, it is important to minimize errors. In this paper we evaluate a structured inspection method that uses eye tracking information as a feedback mechanism to the image inspector. Our two-phase method starts with a free viewing phase during which gaze data is collected. During the next phase, we either segment the image, mask previously seen areas of the image, or combine the two techniques, and repeat the search. We compare the different methods proposed for the second search phase by evaluating the inspection method using true positive and false negative rates, and subjective workload. Results show that gaze-blocked configurations reduced the subjective workload, and that gaze-blocking without segmentation showed the largest increase in true positive identifications and the largest decrease in false negative identifications of previously unseen objects.
Publication Details
  • IEEE Pervasive Computing. 9(2). 46-55.
  • Mar 15, 2010

Abstract

Close
Paper is static but it is also light, flexible, robust, and has high resolution for reading documents in various scenarios. Digital devices will likely never match the flexibility of paper, but come with all of the benefits of computation and networking. Tags provide a simple means of bridging the gap between the two media to get the most out of both. In this paper, we explore the tradeoffs between two different types of tagging technologies – marker-based and content-based – through the lens of four systems we have developed and evaluated at our lab. From our experiences, we extrapolate issues for designers to consider when developing systems that transition between paper and digital content in a variety of different scenarios.
2009
Publication Details
  • Book chapter in "Designing User Friendly Augmented Work Environments" Series: Computer Supported Cooperative Work Lahlou, Saadi (Ed.) 2009, Approx. 340 p. 117 illus., Hardcove
  • Sep 30, 2009

Abstract

Close
The Usable Smart Environment project (USE) aims at designing easy-to-use, highly functional next-generation conference rooms. Our first design prototype focuses on creating a "no wizards" room for an American executive; that is, a room the executive could walk into and use by himself, without help from a technologist. A key idea in the USE framework is that customization is one of the best ways to create a smooth user experience. Since the system needs to fit both with the personal leadership style of the executive and the corporation's meeting culture, we began the design process by exploring the work flow in and around meetings attended by the executive. Based on our work flow analysis and the scenarios we developed from it, USE developed a flexible, extensible architecture specifically designed to enhance ease of use in smart environment technologies. The architecture allows customization and personalization of smart environments for particular people and groups, types of work, and specific physical spaces. The first USE room was designed for FXPAL's executive "Ian" and installed in Niji, a small executive conference room at FXPAL. The room Niji currently contains two large interactive whiteboards for projection of presentation material, for annotations using a digital whiteboard, or for teleconferencing; a Tandberg teleconferencing system; an RFID authentication plus biometric identification system; printing via network; a PDA-based simple controller, and a tabletop touch-screen console. The console is used for the USE room control interface, which controls and switches between all of the equipment mentioned above.

WebNC: efficient sharing of web applications

Publication Details
  • Hypertext 2009
  • Jun 29, 2009

Abstract

Close
WebNC is a system for efficiently sharing, retrieving and viewing web applications. Unlike existing screencasting and screensharing tools, WebNC is optimized to work with web pages where a lot of scrolling happens. WebNC uses a tile-based encoding to capture, transmit and deliver web applications, and relies only on dynamic HTML and JavaScript. The resulting webcasts require very little bandwidth and are viewable on any modern web browser including Firefox and Internet Explorer as well as browsers on the iPhone and Android platforms.

WebNC: efficient sharing of web applications

Publication Details
  • WWW 2009
  • Apr 22, 2009

Abstract

Close
WebNC is a browser plugin that leverages the Document Object Model for efficiently sharing web browser windows or recording web browsing sessions to be replayed later. Unlike existing screen-sharing or screencasting tools, WebNC is optimized to work with web pages where a lot of scrolling happens. Rendered pages are captured as image tiles, and transmitted to a central server through http post. Viewers can watch the webcasts in realtime or asynchronously using a standard web browser: WebNC only relies on html and javascript to reproduce the captured web content. Along with the visual content of web pages, WebNC also captures their layout and textual content for later retrieval. The resulting webcasts require very little bandwidth, are viewable on any modern web browser including the iPhone and Android phones, and are searchable by keyword.

DICE: Designing Conference Rooms for Usability

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of CHI 2009
  • Apr 4, 2009

Abstract

Close
One of the core challenges now facing smart rooms is supporting realistic, everyday activities. While much research has been done to push forward the frontiers of novel interaction techniques, we argue that technology geared toward widespread adoption requires a design approach that emphasizes straightforward configuration and control, as well as flexibility. We examined the work practices of users of a large, multi-purpose conference room, and designed DICE, a system to help them use the room's capabilities. We describe the design process, and report findings about the system's usability and about people's use of a multi-purpose conference room.
2008

Interactive Multimedia Search: Systems for Exploration and Collaboration

Publication Details
  • Fuji Xerox Technical Report
  • Dec 15, 2008

Abstract

Close
We have developed an interactive video search system that allows the searcher to rapidly assess query results and easily pivot off those results to form new queries. The system is intended to maximize the use of the discriminative power of the human searcher. The typical video search scenario we consider has a single searcher with the ability to search with text and content-based queries. In this paper, we evaluate a new collaborative modification of our search system. Using our system, two or more users with a common information need search together, simultaneously. The collaborative system provides tools, user interfaces and, most importantly, algorithmically-mediated retrieval to focus, enhance and augment the team's search and communication activities. In our evaluations, algorithmic mediation improved the collaborative performance of both retrieval (allowing a team of searchers to find relevant information more efficiently and effectively), and exploration (allowing the searchers to find relevant information that cannot be found while working individually). We present analysis and conclusions from comparative evaluations of the search system.

Cerchiamo: a collaborative exploratory search tool

Publication Details
  • CSCW 2008 (Demo), San Diego, CA, ACM Press.
  • Nov 10, 2008

Abstract

Close
We describe Cerchiamo, a collaborative exploratory search system that allows teams of searchers to explore document collections synchronously. Working with Cerchiamo, team members use independent interfaces to run queries, browse results, and make relevance judgments. The system mediates the team members' search activity by passing and reordering search results and suggested query terms based on the teams' actions. The combination of synchronous influence with independent interaction allows team members to be more effective and efficient in performing search tasks.
Publication Details
  • Workshop held in conjunction with CSCW2008
  • Nov 8, 2008

Abstract

Close
It is increasingly common to find Multiple Display Environments (MDEs) in a variety of settings, including the workplace, the classroom, and perhaps soon, the home. While some technical challenges exist even in single-user MDEs, collaborative use of MDEs offers a rich set of opportunities for research and development. In this workshop, we will bring together experts in designing, developing, building and evaluating MDEs to improve our collective understanding of design guidelines, relevant real-world activities, evaluation methods and metrics, and opportunities for remote as well as collocated collaboration. We intend to create not only a broader understanding of this growing field, but also to foster a community of researchers interested in bringing these environments from the laboratory to the real world. In this workshop, we intended to explore the following research themes:
  • Elicitation and process of distilling design guidelines for MDE systems and interfaces.
  • Investigation and classification of activities suited for MDEs.
  • Exploration and assessment of how existing groupware theories apply to collaboration in MDEs.
  • Evaluation techniques and metrics for assessing effectiveness of prototype MDE systems and interfaces.
  • Exploration of MDE use beyond strictly collocated collaboration.

Reading in the Office

Publication Details
  • BooksOnline'08, October 30, 2008
  • Oct 30, 2008

Abstract

Close
Reading online poses a number of technological challenges. Advances in technology such as touch screens, light-weight high-power computers, and bi-stable displays have periodically renewed interest in online reading over the last twenty years, only to see that interest decline to a small early-adopter community. The recent release of the Kindle by Amazon is another attempt to create an online reading device. Has publicity surrounding Kindle and other such devices has reached critical mass to allow them to penetrate the consumer market successfully, or will we see a decline in interest over the next couple of years echoing the lifecycle of Softbook™ and Rocket eBook™ devices that preceded them? I argue that the true value of online reading lies in supporting activities beyond reading per se: activities such as annotation, reading and comparing multiple documents, transitions between reading, writing and retrieval, etc. Whether the current hardware will be successful in the long term may depend on its abilities to address the reading needs of knowledge workers, not just leisure readers.

Ranked Feature Fusion Models for Ad Hoc Retrieval

Publication Details
  • CIKM (Conference on Information and Knowledge Management) 2008, October, Napa, CA
  • Oct 27, 2008

Abstract

Close
We introduce the Ranked Feature Fusion framework for information retrieval system design. Typical information retrieval formalisms such as the vector space model, the best-match model and the language model first combine features (such as term frequency and document length) into a unified representation, and then use the representation to rank documents. We take the opposite approach: Documents are first ranked by the relevance of a single feature value and are assigned scores based on their relative ordering within the collection. A separate ranked list is created for every feature value and these lists are then fused to produce a final document scoring. This new ``rank then combine'' approach is extensively evaluated and is shown to be as effective as traditional ``combine then rank'' approaches. The model is easy to understand and contains fewer parameters than other approaches. Finally, the model is easy to extend (integration of new features is trivial) and modify. This advantage includes but is not limited to relevance feedback and distribution flattening.

Algorithmic Mediation for Collaborative Exploratory Search.

Publication Details
  • SIGIR 2008. (Singapore, Singapore, July 20 - 24, 2008). ACM, New York, NY, 315-322. Best Paper Award.
  • Jul 22, 2008

Abstract

Close
We describe a new approach to information retrieval: algorithmic mediation for intentional, synchronous collabo- rative exploratory search. Using our system, two or more users with a common information need search together, simultaneously. The collaborative system provides tools, user interfaces and, most importantly, algorithmically-mediated retrieval to focus, enhance and augment the team's search and communication activities. Collaborative search outperformed post hoc merging of similarly instrumented single user runs. Algorithmic mediation improved both collaborative search (allowing a team of searchers to nd relevant in- formation more efficiently and effectively), and exploratory search (allowing the searchers to find relevant information that cannot be found while working individually).

Collaborative Information Seeking in Electronic Environments

Publication Details
  • Information Seeking Support Systems Workshop. An Invitational Workshop Sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Available online at http://www.ils.unc.edu/ISSS/
  • Jun 26, 2008

Abstract

Close
Collaboration in information seeking, while common in practice, is just being recognized as an important research area. Several studies have documented various collaboration strategies that people have adopted (and adapted), and some initial systems have been built. This field is in its infancy, however. We need to understand which real-world tasks are best suited for collaborative work. We need to extend models of information seeking to accommodate explicit and implicit collaboration. We need to invent a suite of algorithms to mediate search activities. We need to devise evaluation metrics that take into account multiple people's contributions to search.

1st International Workshop on Collaborative Information Retrieval

Publication Details
  • JCDL 2008
  • Jun 20, 2008

Abstract

Close
Explicit support for collaboration is becoming increasingly important for certain kinds of collection-building activities in digital libraries. In the last few years, several research groups have also pursued various issues related to collaboration during search [4][5][6]. We can represent collaboration in search on two dimensions - synchrony and intent. Asynchronous collaboration means that people are not working on the same problem simultaneously; implicit collaboration occurs when the system uses information from others' use of the system to inform new searches, but does not guarantee consistency of search goals. In this workshop, we are concerned with the top-left quadrant of Figure 1 that represents small groups of people working toward a common goal at the same time. These synchronous, explicit collaborations could occur amongst remotely situated users, each with their own computers, or amongst a co-located group sharing devices; these spatial configurations add yet another dimension to be considered when designing collaborative search systems.
Publication Details
  • 1st International Workshop on Collaborative Information Retrieval. JCDL 2008.
  • Jun 20, 2008

Abstract

Close
People can help other people find information in networked information seeking environments. Recently, many such systems and algorithms have proliferated in industry and in academia. Unfortunately, it is difficult to compare the systems in meaningful ways because they often define collaboration in different ways. In this paper, we propose a model of possible kinds of collaboration, and illustrate it with examples from literature. The model contains four dimensions: intent, concurrency, depth and location. This model can be used to classify existing systems and to suggest possible opportunities for design in this space.
2007

Collaborative Exploratory Search

Publication Details
  • HCIR 2007, Boston, Massachusetts (HCIR = Human Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval)
  • Nov 2, 2007

Abstract

Close
We propose to mitigate the deficiencies of correlated search with collaborative search, that is, search in which a small group of people shares a common information need and actively (and synchronously) collaborates to achieve it. Furthermore, we propose a system architecture that mediates search activity of multiple people by combining their inputs and by specializing results delivered to them to take advantage of their skills and knowledge.
2006

The USE Project: Designing Smart Spaces for Real People

Publication Details
  • UbiComp 2006 Workshop position paper
  • Sep 20, 2006

Abstract

Close
We describe our work-in-progress: a "wizard-free" conference room designed for ease of use, yet retaining next-generation functionality. Called USE (Usable Smart Environments), our system uses multi-display systems, immersive conferencing, and secure authentication. It is based in cross-cultural ethnographic studies on the way people use conference rooms. The USE project has developed a flexible, extensible architecture specifically designed to enhance ease of use in smart environment technologies. The architecture allows customization and personalization of smart environments for particular people and groups, types of work, and specific physical spaces. The system consists of a database of devices with attributes, rooms and meetings that implements a prototype-instance inheritance mechanism through which contextual information (e.g. IP addresses application settings, phone numbers for teleconferencing systems, etc.) can be associated
Publication Details
  • International Journal of Web Services Practices
  • Jan 17, 2006

Abstract

Close
Mobile users often require access to their documents while away from the office. While pre-loading documents in a repository can make those documents available remotely, people need to know in advance which documents they might need. Furthermore, it may be difficult to view, print, or share the document through a portable device such as cell phone. We describe DoKumobility, a network of web services for mobile users for managing, printing, and sharing documents. In this paper, we describe the infrastructure and illustrate its use with several applications. We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned and future work.
2005

DoKumobility: Web services for the mobile worker

Publication Details
  • IEEE International Conference on Next Generation Web Services Practices (NWeSP'05), Seoul, Korea
  • Aug 22, 2005

Abstract

Close
Mobile users often require access to their documents while away from the office. While pre-loading documents in a repository can make those documents available remotely, people need to know in advance which documents they might need. Furthermore, it may be difficult to view, print, or share the document through a portable device such as cell phone. We implemented DoKumobility, a network of web services for mobile users for managing, printing, and sharing documents. In this paper, we describe the infrastructure and illustrate its use with several applications
2004
Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext 2004, ACM Press
  • Aug 9, 2004

Abstract

Close
The preservation of literary hypertexts presents significant challenges if we are to ensure continued access to them as the underlying technology changes. Not only does such an effort involve standard digital preservation problems of representing and refreshing metadata, any constituent media types, and structure; hypertext preservation poses additional dimensions that arise from the work's on-screen appearance, its interactive behavior, and the ways a reader's interaction with the work is recorded. In this paper, we describe aspects of preservation introduced by literary hypertexts such as the need to reproduce their modes of interactivity and their means of capturing and using records of reading. We then suggest strategies for addressing the pragmatic dimensions of hypertext preservation and discuss their status within existing digital preservation schemes. Finally, we examine the possible roles various stakeholders within and outside of the hypertext community might assume, including several social and legal issues that stem from preservation.
2003

Identifying Useful Passages in Documents based on Annotation Patterns.

Publication Details
  • 7th European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL 2003) Trondheim, Norway, August 17-22, 2003
  • Aug 17, 2003

Abstract

Close
Many readers annotate passages that are important to their work. If we understand the relationship between the types of marks on a passage and the passage's ultimate utility in a task, then we can design e-book software to facilitate access to the most important annotated parts of the documents. To investigate this hypothesis and to guide software design, we have analyzed annotations collected during an earlier study of law students reading printed case law and writing Moot Court briefs. This study has allowed us to characterize the relationship between the students' annotations and the citations they use in their final written briefs. We think of annotations that relate directly to the written brief as high-value annotations; these annotations have particular, detectable characteristics. Based on this study we have designed a mark parser that analyzes freeform digital ink to identify such high-value annotations.
2002

Moving Markup: Repositioning Freeform Annotations

Publication Details
  • Proceedings of ACM UIST 2002
  • Oct 27, 2002

Abstract

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Freeform digital ink annotation allows readers to interact with documents in an intuitive and familiar manner. Such marks are easy to manage on static documents, and provide a familiar annotation experience. In this paper, we describe an implementation of a freeform annotation system that accommodates dynamic document layout. The algorithm preserves the correct position of annotations when documents are viewed with different fonts or font sizes, with different aspect ratios, or on different devices. We explore a range of heuristics and algorithms required to handle common types of annotation, and conclude with a discussion of possible extensions to handle special kinds of annotations and changes to documents.

Going Back in Hypertext

Publication Details
  • Proceedings of ACM Hypertext 2002
  • Jun 11, 2002

Abstract

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Hypertext interfaces typically involve navigation, the act (and interaction) of moving from one piece of information to another. Navigation can be exploratory, or it may involve backtracking to some previously-visited node. While backtracking interfaces are common, they may not reflect differences in readers' purposes and mental models. This paper draws on some empirical evidence regarding navigation between and within documents to suggest improvements on traditional hypertext navigation, and proposes a time-based view of backtracking.
Publication Details
  • Journal of Library Administration, 35:1-2, 99-123, Haworth
  • Jun 7, 2002

Abstract

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In the emerging world of electronic publishing how we create, distribute, and read books will be in a large part determined by an underlying framework of content standards that establishes the range of technological opportunities and constraints for publishing and reading systems. But efforts to develop content standards based on sound engineering models must skillfully negotiate competing and sometimes apparently irreconcilable objectives if they are to produce results relevant to the rapidly changing course of technology. The Open eBook Forum's Publication Structure, an XML-based specification for electronic books, is an example of the sort of timely and innovative problem solving required for successful real-world standards development. As a result of this effort, the electronic book industry will not only happen sooner and on a larger scale than it would have otherwise, but the electronic books it produces will be more functional, more interoperable, and more accessible to all readers. Public interest participants have a critical role in this process.
2001

The impact of text browsing on text retrieval performance

Publication Details
  • Information Processing and Management 37 (3) pp. 507-520
  • Aug 21, 2001

Abstract

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The results from a series of three experiments that used Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) data and TREC search topics are compared. These experiments each involved three novel user interfaces (one per experiment). User interfaces that made it easier for users to view text were found to improve recall in all three experiments. A distinction was found between a cluster of subjects (a majority of whom were search experts) who tended to read fewer documents more carefully (readers, or exclusives) and subjects who skimmed through more documents without reading them as carefully (skimmers, or inclusives). Skimmers were found to have significantly better recall overall. A major outcome from our experiments at TREC and with the TREC data, is that hypertext interfaces to information retrieval (IR) tasks tend to increase recall. Our interpretation of this pattern of results across the three experiments is that increased interaction with the text (more pages viewed) generally improves recall. Findings from one of the experiments indicated that viewing a greater diversity of text on a single screen (i.e., not just more text per se, but more articles available at once) may also improve recall. In an experiment where a traditional (type-in) query interface was contrasted with a condition where queries were marked up on the text, the improvement in recall due to viewing more text was more pronounced with search novices. Our results demonstrate that markup and hypertext interfaces to text retrieval systems can benefit recall and can also benefit novices. The challenge now will be to find modified versions of hypertext interfaces that can improve precision, as well as recall and that can work with users who prefer to use different types of search strategy or have different types of training and experience.

Designing e-Books for Legal Research.

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of JCDL 2001 (Roanoke, VA, June 23-27). ACM Press. pp. 41-48.
  • Jun 23, 2001

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In this paper we report the findings from a field study of legal research in a first-tier law school and on the resulting redesign of XLibris, a next-generation e-book. We first characterize a work setting in which we expected an e-book to be a useful interface for reading and otherwise using a mix of physical and digital library materials, and explore what kinds of reading-related functionality would bring value to this setting. We do this by describing important aspects of legal research in a heterogeneous information environment, including mobility, reading, annotation, link following and writing practices, and their general implications for design. We then discuss how our work with a user community and an evolving e-book prototype allowed us to examine tandem issues of usability and utility, and to redesign an existing e-book user interface to suit the needs of law students. The study caused us to move away from the notion of a stand-alone reading device and toward the concept of a document laptop, a platform that would provide wireless access to information resources, as well as support a fuller spectrum of reading-related activities.
2000
Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of UIST '00, ACM Press, pp. 81-89, 2000.
  • Nov 4, 2000

Abstract

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Hitchcock is a system that allows users to easily create custom videos from raw video shot with a standard video camera. In contrast to other video editing systems, Hitchcock uses automatic analysis to determine the suitability of portions of the raw video. Unsuitable video typically has fast or erratic camera motion. Hitchcock first analyzes video to identify the type and amount of camera motion: fast pan, slow zoom, etc. Based on this analysis, a numerical "unsuitability" score is computed for each frame of the video. Combined with standard editing rules, this score is used to identify clips for inclusion in the final video and to select their start and end points. To create a custom video, the user drags keyframes corresponding to the desired clips into a storyboard. Users can lengthen or shorten the clip without specifying the start and end frames explicitly. Clip lengths are balanced automatically using a spring-based algorithm.

Hypertext Interaction Revisited

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext '00, ACM Press, pp. 171-179, 2000
  • May 30, 2000

Abstract

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Much of hypertext narrative relies on links to shape a reader's interaction with the text. But links may be too limited to express ambiguity, imprecision, and entropy, or to admit new modes of participation short of full collaboration. We use an e-book form to explore the implications of freeform annotation-based interaction with hypertext narrative. Readers' marks on the text can be used to guide navigation, create a persistent record of a reading, or to recombine textual elements as a means of creating a new narrative. In this paper, we describe how such an experimental capability was created on top of XLibris, a next generation e-book, using Forward Anywhere as the hypernarrative. We work through a scenario of interaction, and discuss the issues the work raises
Publication Details
  • In CHI 2000 Conference Proceedings, ACM Press, pp. 185-192, 2000.
  • Mar 31, 2000

Abstract

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This paper presents a method for generating compact pictorial summarizations of video. We developed a novel approach for selecting still images from a video suitable for summarizing the video and for providing entry points into it. Images are laid out in a compact, visually pleasing display reminiscent of a comic book or Japanese manga. Users can explore the video by interacting with the presented summary. Links from each keyframe start video playback and/or present additional detail. Captions can be added to presentation frames to include commentary or descriptions such as the minutes of a recorded meeting. We conducted a study to compare variants of our summarization technique. The study participants judged the manga summary to be significantly better than the other two conditions with respect to their suitability for summaries and navigation, and their visual appeal.
1999

From Reading to Retrieval: Freeform Ink Annotations as Queries

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of ACM SIGIR 99, ACM Press, pp. 19-25, 1999.
  • Aug 15, 1999

Abstract

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User interfaces for digital libraries tend to focus on retrieval: users retrieve documents online, but then print them out and work with them on paper. One reason for printing documents is to annotate them with freeform ink while reading. Annotation can help readers to understand documents and to make them their own. In addition, annotation can reveal readers' interests with respect to a particular document. In particular, it is possible to construct full-text queries based on annotated passages of documents. We describe an experiment that tested the effectiveness of such queries, as compared to relevance feedback query techniques. For a set of TREC topics and documents, queries derived from annotated passages produced significantly better results than queries derived from subjects' judgments of relevance.

Introducing a Digital Library Reading Appliance into a Reading Group.

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of ACM Digital Libraries 99, ACM Press, pp. 77-84, 1999.
  • Aug 11, 1999

Abstract

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How will we read digital library materials? This paper describes the reading practices of an on-going reading group, and how these practices changed when we introduced XLibris, a digital library reading appliance that uses a pen tablet computer to provide a paper-like interface. We interviewed group members about their reading practices, observed their meetings, and analyzed their annotations, both when they read a paper document and when they read using XLibris. We use these data to characterize their analytic reading, reference use, and annotation practices. We also describe the use of the Reader's Notebook, a list of clippings that XLibris computes from a reader's annotations. Implications for digital libraries stem from our findings on reading and mobility, the complexity of analytic reading, the social nature of reference following, and the unselfconscious nature of readers' annotations.

Printertainment: Printing With Interactive Cover Sheets.

Publication Details
  • In CHI 99 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, pp. 240-241, 1999.
  • May 18, 1999

Abstract

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We explored a new type of user interface, interactive cover sheets: computer forms laid out on the banner pages of print jobs that people can mark on, scan back into a multifunction printer/scanner, and use as input to applications. Cover sheets are commonly strewn around printer rooms; with interactivity, they can let people see what others have to say, add their own comments, or play games, all while waiting for their print jobs. We designed three prototype applications and deployed them briefly in our research lab. We found that interactive cover sheets can be very appealing, that the sheets must be designed so that people can still identify these pages as cover sheets, and that the slow interaction cycle favors asynchronous applications.

As We May Read: The Reading Appliance Revolution.

Publication Details
  • Computer, Vol. 32, No. 1, January 1999, pp. 65-73.
  • Feb 1, 1999

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Reading appliances allow people to work on electronic documents much as they would on paper. They therefore provide an alternative to the standard "browse or search and then print" model of reading online. By integrating a wide variety of document activities, such as searching, organizing, and skimming, and by allowing fluid movement among them, reading appliances eliminate disruptive transitions between paper and digital media.

Collaborating over Portable Reading Appliances.

Publication Details
  • In Personal Technologies, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1999.
  • Feb 1, 1999

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Reading appliances or e-books hold substantial promise to help us collaborate. In this paper, we use a study of a group activity - a reading group that meets to discuss articles of mutual interest - to explore four scenarios for collaborating with e-books: (1) meetings and face-to-face discussions; (2) serendipitous sharing of annotations, as when we borrow a document from a colleague or buy a used book; (3) community-wide use of anonymous annotations to guide future readers; and (4) e-books as a basis for initiating interaction between people. In so doing, we describe some methods for implementing these facilities, and introduce design guidelines.
1998

Digital Library Information Appliances.

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Digital Libraries 98 (Pittsburgh, PA June 23-26), ACM Press, 1998, pp. 217-226.
  • Jun 23, 1998

Abstract

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Although digital libraries are intended to support education and knowledge work, current digital library interfaces are narrowly focused on retrieval. Furthermore, they are designed for desktop computers with keyboards, mice, and high-speed network connections. Desktop computers fail to support many key aspects of knowledge work, including active reading, free form ink annotation, fluid movement among document activities, and physical mobility. This paper proposes portable computers specialized for knowledge work, or digital library information appliances, as a new platform for accessing digital libraries. We present a number of ways that knowledge work can be augmented and transformed by the use of such appliances. These insights are based on our implementation of two research prototype systems: XLibris,™ an "active reading machine," and TeleWeb, a mobile World Wide Web browser.

Linking By Inking: Trailblazing in a Paper-like Hypertext

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext '98 (Pittsburgh, PA), ACM Press, 1998, pp. 30-39.
  • Jun 20, 1998

Abstract

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"Linking by inking" is a new interface for reader-directed link construction that bridges reading and browsing activities. We are developing linking by inking in XLibris,™ a hypertext system based on the paper document metaphor. Readers use a pen computer to annotate page images with free-form ink, much as they would on paper, and the computer constructs hypertext links based on the ink marks. This paper proposes two kinds of reader-directed links: automatic and manual. Automatic links are created in response to readers' annotations. The system extracts the text near free-form ink marks, uses these terms to construct queries, executes queries against a collection of documents, and unobtrusively displays links to related documents in the margin or as "further reading lists." We also present a design for manual (ad hoc) linking: circling an ink symbol generates a multi-way link to other instances of the same symbol.

Beyond Paper: Supporting Active Reading with Free Form Digital Ink Annotations.

Publication Details
  • In CHI 97 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, 1997, pp. 22-23.
  • Apr 18, 1998

Abstract

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Reading frequently involves not just looking at words on a page, but also underlining, highlighting and commenting, either on the text or in a separate notebook. This combination of reading with critical thinking and learning is called active reading [2]. To explore the premise that computation can enhance active reading we have built the XLibris™ "active reading machine." XLibris™ uses a commercial high-resolution pen tablet display along with a paper-like user interface to support the key affordances of paper for active reading: the reader can hold a scanned image of a page in his lap and mark on it with digital ink. To go beyond paper, XXLibris™ monitors the free-form ink annotations made while reading, and uses these to organize and to search for information. Readers can review, sort and filter clippings of their annotated text in a "Reader's Notebook." XLibris™ also searches for material related to the annotated text, and displays links to similar documents unobtrusively in the margin. XLibris™ demonstrates that computers can help active readers organize and find information while retaining many of the advantages of reading on paper.

XLibris: The Active Reading Machine.

Publication Details
  • CHI 98 Summary, ACM Press, 1998, pp. 22-23.
  • Apr 18, 1998

Abstract

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Active reading is the combination of reading with critical thinking and learning, and involves not just reading per se, but also underlining, highlighting and commenting. We have built the XLibris™ "Active Reading Machine" to explore the premise that computation can enhance the active reading process. XLibris™ uses a high-resolution pen tablet display along with a paper-like user interface to emulate the physical experience of reading a document on paper: the reader can hold a scanned image of a page in his lap and mark on it with digital ink. XLibris™ monitors free-form ink annotations made while reading, and uses these to organize and to search for information. Readers can review, sort and filter clippings of their annotated text in a "Reader's Notebook." Finally, XLibris™ searches for material related to the annotated text, and displays links unobtrusively in the margin. XLibris™ demonstrates that computers can help active readers organize and find information while retaining many of the advantages of reading on paper.

1997

Formal experiments in causal attire: Case studies in information exploration

Publication Details
  • New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia . Vol 3. (1997), Taylor Graham. pp. 123-158.
  • Jun 1, 1997

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This paper addresses the issue of how research methodology can be developed for the specific needs of research into information exploration behavior, based on a four year program of research on individual strategies in information exploration. We propose a meta-experimental framework where research is carried out through a dynamic interaction between what and why questions, and between confirmatory and exploratory analyses. This approach preserves many of the advantages of formal experimentation, while permitting a more holistic examination of phenomena that is characteristic of ethnography. The application of the meta-theoretical framework is illustrated in three case studies that examined new information exploration functionalities and interfaces and their relationship to expertise and exploration strategy.

The Newspaper as an Information Exploration Metaphor

Publication Details
  • Journal of Information Processing & Management.33(5) pp. 663-683.
  • Jun 1, 1997

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The newspaper represents a mature information presentation medium that is well-suited to the presentation of relatively short, loosely related pieces of text. This work examines the implementation of the newspaper metaphor in an information exploration interface. Based on an analysis of differences between electronic books and electronic newspapers, we submit that the newspaper metaphor is an appropriate interface paradigm for large-scale full-text databases. Similarities between newspapers and hypertext databases lead us to suggest that this metaphor is appropriate for large automatically-generated hypertexts, independent of the nature of their content. We describe VOIR, a software prototype that we have used as an electronic newspaper workbench. The program constructs newspaper pages interactively, and allows users to specify their information-seeking intent in a variety of ways, including graphical Boolean queries, hypertext links, and typed-in queries. Finally, we discuss some implications that this work has for hypertext and information retrieval in general.
Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext 97, ACM Press, 1997, pp. 67-74.
  • Apr 5, 1997

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Traditionally hypertexts have been limited in size by the manual effort required to create hypertext links. In addition, large hyper-linked collections may overwhelm users with the range of possible links from any node, only a fraction of which may be appropriate for a given user at any time. This work explores automatic methods of link construction based on feedback from users collected during browsing. A full-text search engine mediates the linking process. Query terms that distinguish well among documents in the database become candidate anchors; links are mediated by passage-based relevance feedback queries. The newspaper metaphor is used to organize the retrieval results. VOIR, a software prototype that implements these algorithms has been used to browse a 74,500 node (250MB) database of newspaper articles. An experiment has been conducted to test the relative effectiveness of dynamic links and user-specified queries. Experimental results suggest that link-mediated queries are more effective than user-specified queries in retrieving relevant information. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible extensions to the linking algorithms.
Publication Details
  • In CHI 97 Conference Proceedings, ACM Press, 1997, pp. 407-414.
  • Mar 21, 1997

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Hypertext interfaces are considered appropriate for information exploration tasks. The prohibitively expensive link creation effort, however, prevents traditional hypertext interfaces from being used with large coherent collections of text. Such collections typically require query-based interfaces. This paper examines a hybrid approach: the system described here creates anchors dynamically based on users' queries, and uses anchor selection as a query expansion mechanism. An experiment was conducted to compare browsing behavior in query- and link-based interfaces. Results suggest that query-mediated links are as effective as explicit queries, and that strategies adopted by users affect performance. This work has implications for the design of information exploration interfaces; the dynamic link algorithms described here are being incorporated into a Web server.